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Friends, Family Mourn Marlon Obanner, Slain on West Englewood Porch

By Quinn Ford | July 8, 2013 12:58pm
 Marlon Obanner, 31, was shot and killed while he sat on a porch in West Englewood celebrating the Fourt of July. Friends and family described Obanner as a "cool-headed" man who just like to spend time with friends.
Marlon Obanner
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WEST ENGLEWOOD — Neighbors call the 6200 block of South Marshfield Avenue the "suburbs of Englewood." They call it a "family block" that had not seen a shooting in at least a year.

But that changed Thursday when 31-year-old Marlon Obanner was gunned down as he sat on a porch celebrating the Fourth of July.

Obanner was sitting outside the house around 9:30 p.m. Thursday when two men walked up to him and opened fire, police said.

A bullet hit Obanner in the left side of his chest, and he was pronounced dead on the scene just before 10 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.

Officials there said Obanner lived just a few blocks away, in the 6500 block of South Paulina Street, but friends said Obanner was living on the block where he was killed.

On Saturday, a makeshift memorial stood outside the home where Obanner was killed. Shartia Hayes said she couldn't believe her cousin was gone.

"I still think he's gonna walk up this street," Hayes said standing by the memorial with tears in her eyes.

Hayes said she and Obanner were celebrating the Fourth with neighbors Thursday evening, drinking and setting off fireworks. She said as she left the party, she asked Obanner if he wanted to come with her, but he declined.

"I said, 'Be safe,' " Hayes said. "That was my last words to him."

Dave, a close friend of Obanner's who declined to give his last name, said he had stepped inside his house to grab more fireworks Thursday night when he heard the shots that killed Obanner.

"It was so sudden," he said. "No one knows what happened."

He said Obanner was "no angel" but was a good person who "didn't do nothing to nobody." Obanner was a jokester who loved hanging out and drinking with friends, he said.

"Everybody in Englewood is not a bad guy," he said. "That was my best friend, and he's gone now."

Stella Smith, who grew up next door to Obanner, described him as a "cool-headed" guy who was more of a mediator than a fighter.

"I just can't believe anyone would gun him down like that, but these streets are so crazy now, I don't put nothing past nobody," Smith said.

Friends said Saturday they did not know why anyone would want to kill Obanner. They said they see shootings happen over petty things, like clothes or money.

Hayes and others said they want Chicago to pay attention to the violence happening in their neighborhood because they feel that nobody cares.

"All I see is my cousin's another statistic, and he doesn't deserve to be," Hayes said.