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Slain South Chicago Man in the 'Wrong Place at the Wrong Time,' Family Says

SOUTH CHICAGO — A South Chicago man killed in an alleged gang-related shooting Thursday night “was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” friends and family said Friday.

D'Angelo Simmons, 22, of the 8000 block of South Manistee Avenue, was fatally shot in the chest about 6 p.m. Thursday, authorities said.

He and another man had been walking along the 2700 block of East 80th Street — a stone's throw from the South Chicago home Simmons shared with his family — when two gunmen approached and opened fire, police said.

Simmons was rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:04 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.

“He was a good guy,” said Robert, 52, a family friend who declined to give his last name. “He wasn’t a bad person. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Robert said Simmons had been out shopping for an upcoming family trip and was walking home when he got shot.

Shootings are increasingly common in the neighborhood, he said.

“There’s some guys around here who have actually shot at me before,” Robert said. “It’s like they’ve got a vendetta to shoot people here … I’m not no gang member. I don’t have no enemies. I don’t argue with anybody. I fix cars for a living.”

“It needs to stop,” he said.

Family called Simmons "kind," "loving" and "always giving."

"He was a great child, just as sweet as he could be,” said Patricia Thompson, a great-aunt. “He had a great heart."

Robert said Simmons loved to sing, but pleaded the fifth on the quality of Simmons' singing voice.

“That’s what I’m going to miss most about him — him waking me up with his singing,” Robert said with a smile.

Neighbor Mike Smith called Simmons “a cool cat” who “mainly kept to himself.”

“He was loved around the neighborhood,” Smith said. “A lot of people were out here crying.”

Thompson couldn't imagine why someone would target her nephew.

"There's so many gangs in this neighborhood — you don't really know,” she said. “A lot of innocent people get shot in these streets... People don't want to tell what really happened.”

No one was in custody Friday for the shooting, said Officer Amina Greer, a police spokeswoman.