To hear his family tell it, Darryl Turner had more lives than a cat – surviving as many as 10 shootings in his 29 years.
Monday morning, the convicted felon’s luck finally ran out.
Turner was armed with a gun and allegedly trying to force his way into an Englewood home when the homeowner shot him, witnesses say.
This time, he didn’t even make it as far as an ambulance.
Crumpled in a puddle of blood at the bottom of a set of steps leading to the front door of the two-story home in the 5800 block of South Shields, the father-of-two’s lifeless body was still lying where it fell more than three hours after the 8:30 a.m. shooting.
Police, who were questioning the homeowner Monday evening, would not say much about the case.
But two eyewitnesses told the Chicago Sun-Times that they saw the homeowner shoot Turner after Turner pulled up in a white Pontiac Bonneville with two alleged accomplices and tried to force his way into the home at gunpoint.
“The guy who lives there shot him, and he fell down the stairs,” one witness said, asking that he not be named for fear of reprisals. “His buddies went back for him, but he wasn’t moving, so they got back in the car and escaped through the alley.”
Neighbors who were awakened by the sound of four gunshots said that shooting is not unusual on the block and that the home where Turner was killed has been fired upon several times in the last few days. Several said they saw police take a handgun from Turner’s dead hand at the scene.
Court records show Turner was sentenced to three years behind bars for a 2005 aggravated unlawful use of a weapon conviction.
But Turner’s family say they do not believe he was trying to rob the home when he was killed.
“He wasn’t in no home invasion,” his mother Pattie Lee Turner said. Turner’s aunt Melinda said he had survived multiple previous shootings – perhaps as many as 10.
In the most recent incident, last November, Turner was shot in the abdomen and another bullet grazed his eye, Turner’s former girlfriend Jennifer Smith added.
The medical examiner gave Turner’s address as a home in the 6700 block of South Parnell, but Smith and Turner’s family all said he had been living in Milwaukee to stay out of trouble and that he was only visiting Chicago when he was killed.
“You could say he was blessed to have been shot 10 times before and lived each time,” Smith added, demanding justice for Turner.
The homeowner, who has a 1989 cocaine conviction, had not been charged as of Monday evening. Earlier this month, prosecutors dropped charges against 81-year-old Englewood man Homer Wright, who shot a teenager who was allegedly burgling his home just a mile from the scene of Monday’s shooting.
Neighbor Kenny Smith spoke for many on the block when he said he hoped the homeowner involved in the most recent case would also not be prosecuted.
“You’ve gotta be allowed to defend your own home,” he said.