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Avalon Park Man Loses Friend, Nephew to Gunfire Within 24 Hours

By Josh McGhee | August 30, 2013 1:51pm
 Anthony Dickerson, 17, was shot to death about 1 p.m. Thursday in the 7900 block of South Avalon Avenue, police said.
Avalon Park Slaying
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AVALON PARK — After a friend was gunned down on Kevin Woods' mother's front porch Wednesday night, the Avalon Park man told police he thought his house was being targeted.

Soon after he pleaded with police to do something, his nephew, Anthony Dickerson, 17, was shot to death just blocks away.

"[Three] hours later my nephew was gunned down," Woods said. "My nephew's gone and can't nothing bring him back."

Anthony was killed Thursday afternoon, three blocks from where Dwan Long, 35, was shot while having after-work drinks with a group on Woods' mother's front porch. A young man walked up, opened fire, and killed Long, police said.

Anthony was killed about 1 p.m. in the 7900 block of South Avalon Avenue after several people opened fire on him as he stood on a porch, police said. He lived in the house next door to where Long was shot the night before.

"We, as black people, are tired of seeing us die. If we have to police the community ourselves, we'll do it. It needs to stop," Woods said. "He was loved by the community. A lot of people are hurting and now, I gotta lay my nephew to rest."

"He didn't deserve to be shot. He didn't deserve to be shot that many times. You don't even shoot cattle like that," Woods said.

Glenn Major, 56, was in his backyard next door to where Anthony was shot when he said he heard "what sounded like five shots," coming from the gangway. He has lived in the neighborhood for 40 years and said he couldn't remember a shooting this close to his home.

"It's too close for comfort for me. That guy shot wild; he could've hit my mother," Major said.

A friend who would not give his name visited a memorial for Anthony lined with liquor bottles, teddy bears and notes on a poster board for the slain teen.

"He was one of us. He just liked to have fun. He didn't deserve that," the friend said.

Family gathered at the house preparing a vigil for the Dickerson family Friday evening.

Relatives said Anthony loved to play basketball, was an avid swimmer and had just begun his senior year at Hirsch Metro High School. He also had been preparing for the birth of his child in the next six months.

They blamed the lack of Chicago Park District activities for some of the problems in the communities.

"They don't have [basketball] rims in the park. They have nothing for them. Why don't the parks have anything for them?" Woods asked. "What are [the kids] supposed to do? Stay in the house?"

The shootings are being investigated as two separate incidents, said Officer Jose Estrada, a Chicago Police Department spokesman.

Anthony's shooting happened the same day that Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) and U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Chicago) were touring nearby Englewood and meeting with residents to discuss violence and job opportunities.