OLD TOWN — A midday shooting near the site of the old Cabrini-Green high-rises left a young man fighting for his life with a gunshot wound to his head.
The Old Town shooting happened at 1:20 p.m. Saturday near the intersection of Division and Orleans, near the entrance of Seward Park, police said.
The man, believed to be 21 or 22, was shot in the head. Authorities said he may have also been shot in his neck and shoulder. He was rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition, police said.
Police officers placed three yellow markers over shell casing near the east entrance of Seward Park as people watched from behind yellow tape near the park's fieldhouse. The markers rested inches away from a black backpack that sat in a pool of blood.
Witnesses at the scene said the backpack belonged to the man who was shot. They said he worked at the Jewel just across Division Street and was involved with the By the Hand Club for Kids.
One woman who was sitting in her car a few feet from where the man was shot said she heard three shots.
"I thought they were firecrackers, since this neighborhood has changed so much," she said.
The woman, who declined to be named, said the shooter was wearing dark clothing, but police said the gunman was wearing red clothes.
No one was in custody Saturday afternoon, police said.
The old Cabrini-Green area was nationally known as a hot spot for violence before the high-rises were torn down over the past decade. Cabrini-Green row houses south of Division Street remain.
The shooting is not far from the island of vice known as "Sedville," a Mickey Cobras street gang-controlled area that has previously been a gang battle zone.
Tasha Mitchell, who has lived in the neighborhood for 9 years, held her baby daughter and watched as police worked the scene.
She complained that pockets of Old Town see steady violence which she said is ignored by the rest of the city.
"There's a lot of killing going on. It's crazy, and they're getting away with it," she said.
Mitchell blamed the shootings on gangs in the neighborhood.
"They don't care who they shoot," Mitchell said. "And it's in broad daylight now?"
At least two people have been killed in the old Cabrini-Green area so far this year, according to DNAinfo Chicago data.