SOUTH SHORE — A 24-year-old man shot to death in South Shore Sunday afternoon had recently been paroled and was seeking guidance from a pastor before he was killed.
Authorities said Jordan Jefferson was shot in the head in the 2400 block of East 75th Street at about 3:20 p.m. He was pronounced dead on the scene from multiple gunshot wounds, the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office said.
Down the street from where he lay covered in a sheet, a woman in screamed, "He's my brother," as friends hugged her. She declined to comment further.
The Rev. Issac Whittmon, pastor at the Greater Metropolitan Church of Christ, said Jefferson came to him in the last few days. He stood as the man's friends made a memorial near the scene of the shooting right outside his church.
"I met him this week, and he came up to me and said, 'I'll be at church this Sunday,'" he said.
Sunday morning, Jefferson was waiting for Whittmon at the church, 2430 E. 75th St., and helped him carry supplies into the office. He attended the service, but expressed uncertainty about joining the church, Whittmon said.
After the service, Jefferson and Whittmon's son walked to a corner store.
"I heard the pop-pop-pop, three bullets," Whittmon said. "I saw the man land from a distance."
A bullet just missed his son, he said.
"My knees are kind of weak," he said.
South Shore resident Karen Reeves, 41, said she'd known Jefferson since he was 5. He grew up in Roseland, and her son was friends with him.
Her family and the victim had all ended up living in South Shore not far from each other. He'd been living with friends since his mother moved to Minnesota a few years ago, she said.
Jefferson had recently been paroled, and state records show he served time for a drug-related charge for which he was arrested in 2011.
Reeves said she'd seen him earlier Sunday, and Jefferson told her, "I love you, I'll see you later." It appeared he'd been trying to turn his life around, Reeves and others at the scene said.
"He was a really sweet person," she said.
Reeves moved into the neighborhood seven months ago, and said it feels unsafe.
Sunday's shooting was one of several recent shootings in the area. On Wednesday, 18-year-old Tracy Gipson was fatally shot in the 7500 block of South Merrill Avenue, and 23-year-old Cortez Bailey was shot and killed hours later in the 7500 block of South Yates Boulevard. In February, four people were reportedly injured in a shooting at 75th Street and Kingston Avenue.
Whittmon said the area has had drug problems and that he's counseled neighborhood men who'd served prison sentences.
"As soon as my lease is up, I'm moving," Reeves said.