SOUTH SHORE — A 24-year-old man was fatally shot in the head in South Shore Friday afternoon, officials said.
He was shot about 3:45 p.m in the 1900 block of East 79th Street, said Officer Veejay Zala, a police spokesman.
The victim was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious condition, Zala said.
The man was identified as Raymond Tucker of the 7900 block of South Jeffrey. Police initially identified him as a 17-year-old boy.
Detectives were still on the scene as of about 5:30 p.m. Large groups of people stood near the busy intersection of 79th Street and Jeffrey Boulevard. Police had redirected traffic heading west on 79th Street.
Bystanders said the young man's body was laying on the sidewalk in front of a strip mall on the south side of 79th Street.
A man who asked to be identified as Smith said he was inside JJ Fish & Chicken restaurant when he heard gunshots.
"When I looked out, they threw him on the stretcher, and the ambulance stayed out there a while, so usually when the ambulance stays, you're not going to make it," Smith said.
He shook his head when he heard news that the young man had died.
"It's a shame but what can you do about it? It goes on 24-7, from winter to summer to spring," Smith said. "It ain't got to get warm. They killing year around."
He said shootings do not happen on the block often, and the timing of the shooting was particularly shocking.
"It's kind of strange to see someone get shot in broad daylight. That's kind of what threw everybody off because you ain't expecting to see that in broad daylight, somebody getting shot," Smith said.
Smith and others said there were a number of young people around at the time of the shooting. They said with a grammar school and high school nearby, it is a popular place for children to congregate in the afternoons.
Ahmad Leslie, 34, said he came after hearing news of the shooting.
"When I heard, I called my 15-year-old nephew to make sure he was alright," Leslie said. He said his nephew attends South Shore International College Preparatory High School just a few blocks north of where the shooting took place.
Leslie, who has lived nearby in the neighborhood for about 12 years, said he could not remember the last time a shooting took place on the block, but he said young people today have a new attitude.
"These teenagers, something's different," Leslie said.
Smith agreed, adding he believed the problem was the absence of a strong family structure.
"You can't blame it on [the] government. It starts at home, so whatever goes on in your house, that's the only people you can blame," Smith said. "You can't say Obama. You can't blame it on the mayor or the alderman. It starts with mommy and daddy."