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Man Dies Four Days After Shooting Along Uptown 'Safe Passage' Route

By  Darryl Holliday and Adeshina Emmanuel | August 23, 2013 7:16am 

  Darius Oliver, 21, was pronounced dead at 12:55 a.m. Friday, four days after being shot in his head.
One of Five Men Shot Along Uptown 'Safe Passage' Route Dies
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CHICAGO — One of five men shot during a drive-by attack along an Uptown "Safe Passage" route Monday has died.

Darius Oliver, 21, was pronounced dead at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center at 12:55 a.m. Friday, the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office said.

Oliver was shot just before 6 p.m. Monday near Uptown Baptist Church in the 4500 block of Sheridan Road.

The men were standing along the south sidewalk of Wilson Avenue near Sheridan Road when a white two-door car pulled up, and two people fired shots from the car before it drove off, police said.

The bloody crime scene was in the middle of a "Safe Passage" route where students from the shuttered Stewart School will walk to get to nearby Brenneman Elementary starting next week.

Police initially said Oliver had died, but girlfriend Brianna Williams, 18, who visited Oliver in the hospital multiple times after the shooting, said Wednesday he was on life support, his head covered in bandages.

Williams said her boyfriend was brain dead and wouldn't recover.

Doctors would eventually "pull the plug ...  and then he'll end up in the morgue," she said at the time.

Oliver had just gotten off work from his job as a janitor and was on his way to a nearby McDonald's to get food for her when the shooting took place, Williams said at a vigil for the victims at the scene of the shooting Wednesday evening.

"Not five minutes later, I heard gunshots," she said.

Multiple bullets struck Oliver — three in his right leg, one in his left leg, one in his shoulder and "a few in his head," she said.

"He got shot right after he kissed me goodbye," Williams said at the spot on the sidewalk where she first saw Oliver laying after the shooting.

After the shooting, her friends tried to keep her away from the scene, but she ran back there and saw her boyfriend severely wounded. According to authorities, "an assault-style weapon" may have been used in the shooting.

Williams recounted seeing police arrest one suspect after a car that matched witness accounts was found nearby.

Tressa Feher, chief of staff to Ald. James Cappleman (46th), said Friday morning that three people were "taken in for questioning," in connection to the shootings soon after the incident.

But she did not know if the people taken for questioning were being implicated as suspects or if charges were pending.

Police said no one has been charged as of Friday morning.

Feher said Oliver was the first person to die from gunfire in Uptown this year. At least 16 people have been shot in Uptown so far this year.

Oliver had moved to Chicago a couple months ago from California to reconnect with his mother, Williams said. The mother and son had talked for the first time in about two years shortly before he was shot, she said.

Oliver loved to rap, play basketball and do handstands near the spot where he was nearly killed, his friends said. According to Williams, he kept to himself and most days the two would stay home together and watch TV.

State Rep. Greg Harris, whose district includes Uptown, was one of the Uptown residents praying at Oliver's vigil Wednesday night, his hands locked with others in a circle outside the church. Harris said he lives “just three blocks up” from the site of the shooting, at Wilson and Magnolia — in a different gang's territory. Harris said he was worried about retaliation shootings there.

Referring to Oliver, Harris said: “This could happen to any of us.

“This could have happened to anybody who was just walking down the street and you get caught in the crossfire. I walk up and down here all the time — it could have been me, it could have been any one of these people,” Harris said.

Williams was in tears as she spoke at the vigil alongside friends of hers and Oliver's, many of whom had grown up in and out of group homes. The couple were supposed to be married on Jan. 31, Oliver's birthday, she said.

"He loved to sing," she said. "We used to sing together, but now I don't want to sing anymore."