CHICAGO — Three men were killed and another two men were shot early Saturday. One of the dead was a man who just celebrated his birthday.
About 4 a.m., three men were shot outside a 24-hour diner on the corner of Wallace Street and Pershing Road in the city's Bridgeport neighborhood.
Two of the men, aged 40 and 41, who were shot were pronounced dead on the scene, and a 48-year-old man who was shot in the right arm was taken to Stroger Hospital in stable condition, according to Officer Jose Estrada, a police spokesman.
The 40-year-old man was shot in the face and chest. The 41-year-old man was shot in the chest.
A small crowd of people stood just behind the police tape and watched as officers investigated the scene around 6 a.m. Saturday.
Lamar Baker watched from across the street. Baker said he was close friends with one of the men who was killed.
“We were just getting something to eat, that’s it, and all we heard was ‘boom, boom, boom.’ Look up, it’s my man laying,” Baker said “I just couldn’t believe it.”
Baker said it was his dead friend's birthday Friday night. He said the two stopped by the diner, Kevin's Heaven, 554 W. Pershing Road, to get a bite to eat following the birthday party.
Baker said his friend and the other man who was killed were standing outside smoking a cigarette when a man in a black mask came up and began shooting. He said he heard four or five shots before seeing his friend on the ground outside.
One of the men was later identified as Allen Smiley, 41, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. The name of the other man killed was not released.
Baker said Smiley was a father of five who worked hard.
"He made sure his family was good," Baker said. "Now, he’s not even here no more to provide for his family. Now who’s going to provide for his family?”
Baker said he didn't see any fighting or words exchanged before the shots rang out and said the shooter was firing "randomly." He said the slaying of the two men was "senseless."
“I mean what can we do? We can’t do nothing. We can cry, mourn, that’s not going to bring them back," Baker said. "These young people, they can’t fight, so they gotta hide behind a gun. That’s a coward. A coward hides behind a gun.”
About two hours earlier, another two men were shot, one fatally, on the 1100 block of South Mozart Street, police said.
Two men were sitting in a parked car when shots rang out, Estrada said. One man was hit in the head and pronounced dead on the scene, Estrada said. The Cook County medical examiner's office identified the victim as 34-year-old Ronnie Chambers.
More than 10 family members drove to the scene of the shooting to watch as police carried Chamber's body away. Some stood just behind the police tape. Others watched from their cars to keep warm in the early morning cold.
Family said Chambers was a music producer and was coming from an album release party when he was gunned down.
The other man, 21, was struck in the left shoulder and buttocks and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in stable condition, Estrada said.
Authorities said no one is in custody in the shooting.