WOODLAWN — Because nobody saw his body, Marlon Monroe was left in the weeds for an hour after he was shot, his family said.
Monroe was thirsty after painting at his aunt’s Woodlawn building. He left the work site and walked down the block to a convenience store. He never made it inside the shop. A gunman passing by sprayed bullets onto the corner, striking Monroe, his family said.
Monroe, 21, apparently stumbled and fell into a patch of tall weeds in an empty lot that adjoins the corner shop, his family said.
The police came to investigate the April 28 shooting, cleaned up the scene and took off, his family said.
“He lay in the lot for an hour because police didn’t see him,” said Crystal Monroe-Turner, a cousin, 29. “They threw the shells away.”
It wasn’t until hours later that Monroe’s body was discovered. A 16-year-old relative who was in a rush trying to make curfew was crossing through the abandoned lot when he found Monroe’s lifeless corpse in the 6300 block of South St. Lawrence Avenue.
“It was just a mess,” said Monroe-Turner. “How long he was just lying there.”
Monroe had been out of prison for two months and was on parole for stealing a car, according to family and court records. He had a history of stealing cars, court records show.
But Monroe was trying to get a painter’s license and had been doing maintenance for property owned by his aunt. He had received a GED while in prison, his family said.
After his jail stint, Monroe had been trying to tell younger relatives to avoid a life of crime.
“He was showing his little brother … the path he needed to take,” said his aunt, Deborah Jackson, adding that Monroe had been looking for a steady job.
“He said he was ready, he didn’t want to be in that situation no more,” Jackson said.
Described as gentle and kind-hearted, he was not in a gang, family members said.
“He followed himself,” Monroe-Turner said.