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Man Shot in River North Near Merchandise Mart

By  Geoff Ziezulewicz and Emily Morris | January 16, 2013 7:04am | Updated on January 16, 2013 9:11am

 A man was shot near the Merchandise Mart in River North Wednesday morning.
A man was shot near the Merchandise Mart in River North Wednesday morning.
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DNAinfo/Geoff Ziezulewicz

RIVER NORTH — A man walking into the Apparel Center in River North Wednesday morning was shot in the head — suffering a graze wound — as workers filed into the neighborhood for their jobs, authorities said. 

The shooting happened about 6 a.m. near the loading dock of the Apparel Center, at 350 N. Orleans St., police said. The center sits just west of the Merchandise Mart along the Chicago River.

The victim, a 47-year-old man, was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in "stable" condition, according to the Chicago Fire Department's media office.

The loading dock faces the upscale East Bank Club, where luminaries such as President Barack Obama, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Oprah Winfrey have worked out.

The shooter, wearing dark clothing, ran off after the incident, police said. He fled west along the bridge on Kinzie Street, heading northbound, police said. He was still on the loose Wednesday morning, cops added. 

Some of the workers who make their commute to the bustling area seemed unfazed by the shooting Wednesday morning.

Government worker Peter Malecha, who lives across the river on West Kinzie Street, was walking to work near the scene before 8 a.m. as he does every morning.

"It's terrible, but it's a fact of life," Malecha, 43, said. "This stuff randomly happens sometimes."

The building is home to the Chicago Sun-Times, as well as Comcast Sportsnet Chicago.

Katie O'Connell, a management consultant who works out at the East Bank Club daily from 6 to 7 a.m., didn't see the shooting but said she, too, wasn't concerned.

"Maybe I should be," said the 32-year-old. "Unfortunately, there are just so many shootings in Chicago."

Coming out of East Bank Club, consultant Jeff Petrich, 44, said he always feels safe in the area and wasn't surprised or concerned about the shooting,

"Bad things happen in the city all over," he said. "Wrong time, wrong place."

The motive for the shooting was not immediately available.