One Man Killed, One Wounded in Hyde Park Apartment Shooting

By Quinn Ford on April 30, 2013 6:48am | Updated on April 30, 2013 12:11pm

 Henry Atkins, 39, was fatally shot in an apartment building in the 5200 block of South Harper Avenue in Hyde Park, police said. Atkins was one of five people in the city shot overnight Monday, police said.
Henry Atkins, 39, was fatally shot in an apartment building in the 5200 block of South Harper Avenue in Hyde Park, police said. Atkins was one of five people in the city shot overnight Monday, police said.
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DNAinfo/Quinn Ford

HYDE PARK — A man was killed and another was wounded in a shooting early Tuesday in Hyde Park, police said.

About 12:15 a.m. Tuesday, the men were shot in an apartment building in the 5200 block of South Harper Avenue in Hyde Park.

They were standing in a hallway of the building when a third man walked up to them and opened fire, according to Officer Amina Greer, a Chicago Police Department spokeswoman.

One of the men, identified as Henry Atkins, 39, of the 1400 block of East 52nd Street, was fatally shot in his chest.

The 22-year-old man with Atkins was shot in his left hand. He was taken to Stroger Hospital in good condition, Greer said.

No one was in custody early Tuesday morning, and the motive for the shooting is still unclear, Greer said.

It's the second shooting to happen near President Barack Obama's home in neighboring Kenwood in about a week. Last week 15-year-old Cornelius German was gunned down in the 5000 block of South Evans, less than a mile away from Obama's house.

Steve Hill, who lives on the third floor of the building where the shooting took place, said he was talking on the phone with a friend when he heard a shot.

"I heard one pop, and I said, 'That sounded like a gunshot,'" Hill said. "After that, I heard some footsteps running."

Hill said based on the the noises he heard he believes the shooter ran out the back door to get out of the building. He said he only opened his door two hours later when detectives came to question him.

"I was afraid if I had opened my door, he would have shot up my apartment," Hill said.

"Being this close, I'm shocked," Hill said. "I am really shocked."

Hill said the 22-year-old man who was shot with Atkins lives a few doors down from him. Standing outside his apartment door Tuesday, family of the wounded man said he did not want to talk about the shooting.

Tuesday morning, neighbors described the area where Atkins was killed as a quiet part of the neighborhood that does not see much violence. The building sits just a block away from a developed stretch of restaurants and stores on 53rd Street.

Vilay Inthalangsy, who lives across the street from the building where Atkins was killed, said she can remember only one other shooting near her home and was surprised to hear about the one Tuesday morning.

"It was so quiet," she said. "I didn't hear anything."

But Inthalangsy and her daughter, Cherry Inthalangsy, both said they were not shocked by the shooting.

A nearby nightclub, Park 52, had attracted a lot of late-night foot traffic and some shady characters at times, but that sort of activity slowed when the club closed about a month ago, they said.

Cherry Inthalangsy said Tuesday the shooting would not affect her family's sense of safety in the neighborhood.

"We've been living here for 13 years," she said. "We're fine."

Others said they were also surprised to hear of the shootings but said the area is still much better than it used to be just a few years ago.

The Rev. Jeff Haynes, who attended high school in the neighborhood, said the area has seen a lot of positive development in the past three years.

Standing near the corner of 53rd and Harper, Haynes said the area no longer deals with the issues that other city neighborhoods plagued by violence do. He said he is glad people no longer play "Russian roulette" with their lives walking down 53rd Street.

"People couldn't even walk down here, especially at night," Haynes said.

Haynes said he believes the development is due in large part to Obama calling the area home. 

The shooting of Atkins and his friend was among several overnight that left three others wounded.

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