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Father of Two Gunned Down Near Cabrini Rowhouses

By Quinn Ford | July 24, 2013 7:35am
 Relatives of Donald Lewis remembered him as a family man after the 25-year-old was gunned down Sunday.
Donald Lewis
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NEAR NORTH SIDE — Oshinique Phipps said she's known Donald Lewis since kindergarten.

They both grew up in Cabrini-Green and attended Jenner Academy together. Phipps said they began dating nine years ago and have two children, a 4-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl.

On Tuesday, Phipps said she was planning a vigil for the father of her children. Lewis, 25, was gunned down early Sunday morning.

Police said Lewis was standing with a group of people in the 800 block of North Cambridge Avenue. The block is home to the Frances Cabrini rowhouses, the last of the Cabrini-Green housing projects.

Lewis was standing on the sidewalk about 4 a.m. Sunday when a dark-colored vehicle pulled up alongside the group, police said. A gunman got out and opened fire, repeatedly hitting Lewis and another man.

Lewis was shot in his chest and shoulder. A 24-year-old man was shot in his arms and his abdomen. Both men were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition, and Lewis was pronounced dead just after 5:30 a.m., police said.

No one was in custody in connection with the murder as of Tuesday afternoon, and police were investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

Neither Lewis nor the other man shot were living nearby; Lewis lived in the 2600 block of West 12th Place in the North Lawndale neighborhood.

Phipps said Tuesday she was still trying to figure out what exactly happened to Lewis.

"I've heard like 30 different stories, so I don't even know what happened," she said.

Neighbors near where Lewis was shot said he had a past disagreement with the shooter, and police said both Lewis and the other man wounded in the shooting have ties to the Gangster Disciples.

But Phipps remembered Lewis as a "family guy" who was a regular churchgoer.

"He was caring. He was a father," she said. "He loved his kids more than anything."

She said Lewis was a quiet person who liked to be with his friends and who was "always smiling."

"He was ready for change," she said of her boyfriend. "He was ready for change."