AVALON PARK — Dwan Long had just gotten off work and was enjoying drinks with some friends when he was shot and killed Wednesday night.
Kevin Woods, 45, said Long had stopped by Woods' mother's house in the 8200 block of South Avalon Avenue for a beer, something he did every so often after work as a security guard.
Woods said Long was standing near his mother's porch when a young man walked up from 83rd Street, pulled out a gun and opened fire on the group.
"It was three shots — boom, boom, boom — and we all ran inside," he said.
But Long, 35, was shot twice in his chest, police said. He was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn where he was pronounced dead about 9 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.
Long's family members said they were stunned in the wake of his death. Long's sister, Nakeisha Becton-Watson, said her family was surprised to hear Long was hanging out in Avalon Park.
"It's been that area where our grandmother and mother told us, 'Don't go across Cottage Grove,'" she said, referring to the border between Chatham and Avalon Park. "For him to be over there, I don't understand."
Becton-Watson, 27, said she did not know the friends her brother was with and said she was most upset that her brother died without any family members by his side.
"No one got a chance to say even goodbye," she said.
Becton-Watson said her brother was a humble guy who worked his security job and spent the rest of his time with his 10-year-old son.
She said her family just wants to know why Long was the one to get killed.
"I'm trying to figure out what happened to my brother 'cause even though I'll never see him again, just give me an answer of what happened and something that says he's OK up in those skies," Becton-Watson said.
No one was in custody in connection with the murder, police said. Woods said he and others did not get a good look at the shooter because he was wearing a hooded sweatshirt.
Standing near the spot where Long's body fell Wednesday night, Woods pointed a finger to the center of his chest.
"He got hit right here," he said. "I knew he was gone, right there."
Woods and his brother, Chris, said Thursday they had no idea why someone would shoot up their mother's house.
"It was all old heads on the porch," Woods said, adding the men were watching over a couple younger kids who were around 7 years old.
Police said they were also working on discovering a motive behind the shooting. They said Long did not have any gang affiliation.
Long, who lived just blocks away near 82nd Street and Langley Avenue in Chatham, is at least the third person to be killed in Avalon Park so far this year, according to DNAinfo Chicago data. That number includes a domestic incident between a mother and son.
Kevin Wood said he thinks the violence in the neighborhood is escalating.
"You don't hear about this in Lake View, the Gold Coast, Lincoln Park," he said. "We pay our taxes too ...This s--- is crazy."
Wood's brother Chris, who declined to give his last name, said he wants to see the city provide more activities for teenagers in the Avalon Park neighborhood.
"They're running around these streets with nothing to do," he said. "No programs."
Woods and Chris said Long was an innocent victim in the wrong place at the wrong time. They described their friend as a "sweet guy" who never bothered anyone.
"He wasn't a gangbanger or gangster," Woods said. "He was a quiet guy, never a menace."
Woods, who said he served in the Gulf War, said young people responsible for today's violence do not understand the repercussions of their actions, on their victims or themselves.
"They don't understand when you take a life, that's serious," he said. "That's gonna sit on your head for the rest of your life."
Less than 24 hours after Long was killed, a 17-year-old boy — Kevin Woods' nephew — was gunned down three blocks north from where Long died.