“It was at 65th and Green in like the dead center of Englewood,” the reporter started.
The conversation stalled for a moment as the third of our party showed up, followed by the beer the reporter ordered. We were in a package good store/bar at the edge of Logan Square’s gentrification, where old timers mingle with the young and trendy. The can of craft beer a tattooed manic pixie bartender handed the reporter bore a quote from “So I Married an Axe Murderer.”
“That’s random,” the reporter said after I explained where the quote came from. “Whatever it is, I like it. I get it all the time.”
He laughed and took a sip.
“So you’re at the shooting?” I prompted.
“Yeah, 65th and Green and I get there and the guy had already been shot.”
The reporter is Darryl Holliday, the Crime and Mayhem Reporter (that’s the actual job title) for a local news website. I was interviewing him and the third of our party, illustrator Erik Rodriguez, about a comics journalism side project of theirs that you’ll have to come back on June 17 to read more about.
This tale is just a target of opportunity. It’s a story a reporter told about his day.
“He’s in the car. But what’s unusual is that he’s still in his car,” Holliday continued. “Usually they would have taken him out or taken him to the ambulance or the hospital, but he called the scene so his car is still on. Brown SUV. It’s still, like — they didn’t touch anything. The car’s still on, the lights are still on and everything.
“The family’s all there, like 30 of them there. Also unusual because there are so many people there at one time. None of them want to talk. None of them want to say a word. For whatever reason, they don’t want to say anything. So I’m just hanging out, me and the photographer guy — different organization.
“Two hours later, there are more people there, 50 by now or so, and that’s when we hear the commotion inside of the tape boundary. People start screaming and so I’m like looking around, kind of walk toward this car to stand behind because I’m not sure what’s going to happen. And that’s where someone goes ‘Ah, they’ve got a gun!’ and someone goes ‘They’re fighting!’”
“There was this big commotion and I see it and these four kids come out of the crowd and just start booking ass past me. And one of them had a gun. They run, the cops start chasing them and then a block down — there’s like blood on the sidewalk — and they pin them down, take it, put them in cuffs and everything resumed from there.
“No shots,” he said. “Unrelated, most likely.”
“Are we talking kids like 12 or kids like 17?” I asked.
“They were like 14, tops. 15, tops. So, yeah. Kids. Kids with guns,” the reporter said, taking a sip from the beer can with the quote about a head like Sputnik.
“And that was the third scene that day. It was a really long day last night.”