2 dead, 1 injured in South Side shootings

A man was shot in the 900 block of east 79th street tonight and then reportedly his car struck a ComEd vehicle. (Devlin Brown/ for the Tribune / March 12, 2012)

Three men were killed and five others were injured in separate shootings across Chicago on Monday afternoon and evening, officials said.

The latest slaying occurred just before 11 p.m. in the 1900 block of West 23rd Place on the city's Lower West Side, authorities said, citing early reports.

Police were contacted after friends of the 23-year-old victim drove him to the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center. Officers later determined that the victim was shot in the back by a gunman who approached him on the street, police said.

The victim, whose identity was withheld pending family notification, was later pronounced dead at the hospital, police said. Police said the shooting was gang-related, but didn't elaborate.

About 10 minutes earlier, a 22-year-old man was shot in the leg in the 6300 block of North Ridge Avenue in the West Rogers Park neighborhood.

Police said the man was wounded as he passed near two men quarreling on the street. The victim was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston in good condition. Police didn't say whether the victim was believed to be the intended target.

Earlier in the day, an 18-year-old man was shot in the lower right side of his back as he walked on the 1500 block of South Pulaski Road in the Lawndale neighborhood, police said.

The shooting happened at 4:45 p.m. as the man was walking on the sidewalk when he heard shots and felt pain, police said. He was unable to identify the direction the shots came from, police said. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital where his condition had stabilized, police said.

A short time later on the South Side, a 76-year-old man was found shot to death in the backyard of a Chatham neighborhood home, authorities said.

Police were called to the 8100 block of South Prairie Avenue about 4:50 p.m. and found the man shot in the head, according to Chicago Police Department News Affairs. When officers arrived they found the victim shot in the head with one of his hands underneath his body lying in a rear stairwell outside an apartment building, police said.

Police couldn't immediately say how he ended up getting shot. Police launched a death investigation. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.

A few minutes later, about 5:05 p.m., a 21-year-old man was shot in the left knee near 91st Street and St. Lawrence Avenue in the Burnside neighborhood, police said.

At about 7 p.m., a woman sustained a graze wound after she was shot in the 1000 Block of North Central Park Avenue in the East Garfield Park neighborhood, officials said. Preliminary information indicated that there had been a fight and a person returned with a gun and fired, striking the woman.

At about 7:55 p.m., a 33-year-old man was shot in the left leg and right hand on the 7100 block of South State Street in the Park Manor neighborhood, police said. The victim was shot when someone approached him and fired shots at him, police said. He was taken to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, where his condition had stabilized.

At about 8;15 p.m., Erick Williams, 25, was found fatally shot while inside a vehicle on the 900 block of East 79th Street in the Grand Crossing neighborhood, authorities said.

Police said that Williams was in a car in a parking lot--located near the southwest corner of 79th and Ellis--when shots rang out. The victim put the car in reverse, burst through a black wrought-iron gate next to the lot's exit and struck the side of the ComEd truck, which was stationed in the middle of 79th Street, police said.

At least one witness told police the shooter might have fled on foot through a nearby alley, police said.

Police cordoned off 79th for about a half a block between Ingleside and Ellis avenues. Yellow and red tape sealed off the crime scene, while about a half a dozen squad cars, marked and unmarked, were parked around there.

The victim's dark-colored car sat with its front passenger's side door open and remained next to the ComEd truck it struck. Both vehicles had orange cones around them. The victim was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he later died, police said.

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