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Shooting Outside James Madison Elementary Leaves One Dead

By  Darryl Holliday and Emily Morris | April 8, 2013 9:22am | Updated on April 8, 2013 7:14pm

 At least one parent wondered why CPS waited six hours to inform her of the fatal shooting.
At least one parent wondered why CPS waited six hours to inform her of the fatal shooting.
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DNAinfo/Darryl Holliday

SOUTH SHORE — Ann Taylor's 7-year-old son was the first to tell her that a man had been fatally shot outside of his elementary school Monday morning.

The shooting took place at about 8:30 a.m. directly outside of James Madison Elementary school, causing a 20-minute lockdown on the campus.

"I'm shocked that I didn't receive a call [from Chicago Public Schools], then I would have had the option of comforting him in person — a mother knows, you know?" Taylor said as she picked her first-grade son up from school, more than six hours after the shooting.

The 28-year-old was shot in the chest on the 7400 block of South Dorchester Avenue, said officer John Mirabelli, a police spokesman.

 A CPS memo informing parents of an "incident" was delievered six hours after the shooting Monday morning.
A CPS memo informing parents of an "incident" was delievered six hours after the shooting Monday morning.
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DNAinfo/Darryl Holliday

The man was identified as Robert Gholson, of the 1300 block of East 74th Street in Grand Crossing, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. He was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital at 9:29 a.m.

Schoolchildren were not near the scene when the shooting occurred, said Mirabelli, citing preliminary information.

But, while reading a CPS memo to parents, Taylor said she would have preferred to know earlier.

The memo mentions an "incident" that "occurred on the grounds of Madison Elementary School," but is vague on details and doesn't mention a shooting at all.

"An 'incident' is that somebody got arrested ... not that someone got killed," Taylor said.

"Kids are in a lose-lose situation, they're not safe at school, not safe at home — where can I run and hide to raise my kids?" she added.

A spokeswoman from Chicago Public Schools directed media requests to police Monday morning.

A neighbor who lives across the street from the school, 7433 S. Dorchester, said she heard several gunshots around the time of the shooting.

The man was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition, said Chicago Fire Department Chief Joe Roccasalva. He was later pronounced dead, a spokeswoman for the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office said.

Ghazi Abushelfeh, 56, has owned the nearby J&J Fast Food on the corner of 75th and Dorchester for 15 years.

Abushelfeh said he saw three men emerge from an alley behind his shop, and watched as one fired two shots at the man across the street. The man stumbled several times before falling, said Abushelfeh, who said he formerly worked as a police officer in Jordan for 20 years.

The shooter "just walked away — he didn't care or nothing," he said.

Abushelfeh said he called police while school security tended to the man.

"If I see a shooting I call the police — you see something, you talk," he said.

Police also said a group of men walked up to the victim on foot, and at least one fired shots.

Deangelo Whitehead, who said he was friends with victim, said the man was waiting for Abushelfeh's shop to open when the assailants shot him.

No one is in custody, police said.

In October, 17-year-old Jonathan Williams was shot and killed on the same block, directly beside the green fence of Madison Elementary. Many residents of the block still vividly remember the day,

In that incident, Williams was standing in the block on Oct. 8 when two men approached him with a shotgun and shot him in his head at close range, neighbors said.