SOUTH CHICAGO — Rumors flew at Baltimore and Muskegon avenues Monday morning after a man known for selling cigarettes at a nearby gas station was shot to death in the street.
The 23-year-old man was in the 8300 block of South Baltimore Avenue when he was shot in the head at about 9:10 a.m., said Lt. Steve Sesso, a Chicago Police Department spokesman.
He was identified as Olawale Giwa, of the 7700 block of South Coles Avenue, by the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.
But neighbors knew him as "Wally," who, they said, was fired at about six times before he was struck twice in the head and once in the shoulder. At least two of the shots hit vehicles parked along Baltimore Avenue — one flattening a tire, the other piercing the front bumper of a beige sedan.
Neighbors on the block found the man face down, surrounded by blood that had pooled in the street. Despite the attempts of a fire hose on full blast, the blood remained visible more than four hours later.
"[The shooter] looked like he was looking for him," said a longtime resident who asked not to be identified. "I was driving by when I heard the shots, so I came back because I have friends on the block.
"I know some of these guys," he added. "They let me know when something is going down — they say, 'Get your grandkids inside.' This isn't new to us over here."
According to those who said they heard the shots, Monday's victim may have also fired a weapon in the incident. Several witnesses recounted hearing two sets of guns before later seeing the victim toss a few of his belongings aside in an attempt to hide behind a red SUV. That vehicle was hit in the attack.
The belongings, including a cellphone and a bag, were later picked up by a friend before police arrived, they said.
A woman who said she was a distant cousin of Giwa said "he's a sweet guy" who loved kids despite not having any of his own. Most of Giwa's immediate family, including his mother, lives in Nigeria, the woman said.
The morning shooting renewed calls for better safety measures in the neighborhood.
"They really need to put a camera at the corner of Baltimore and Muskegon," said Webster Vital, owner of the building next to where Wally was killed. "We've been asking for one so we can stop this."
Vital struggles to keep up with covering graffiti and gang signs on his building walls, he said.
"But if they had a surveillance blue light camera it'd be better — the whole block wants it," Vital said.
At least two suspects, one the getaway driver, were quickly taken into custody by police, according to residents, though police said no one had been charged as of Monday night.
The victim, they said, was revived on the scene and initially taken to a hospital because he had a pulse — another account unconfirmed by authorities.
Giwa was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center at 10:14 a.m., medical examiners said.