HUMBOLDT PARK — Rubin Austin died seeking shelter after he was shot twice early Friday morning, friends said.
One witness said she found the 25-year-old father face down on the 3600 block of West Augusta Boulevard after hearing around seven shots. According to police, officers responded to the gunshots at 12:48 a.m. after Austin was hit once in chest and once in his left side.
"He had a little pulse, but I saw him take his last breath," said the witness, who declined to be identified out of fear of retaliation. "Everyone's gonna try and run somewhere."
Austin was seeking safety in her home after he was shot, she said, knowing her door might be open. Witnesses said he was last seen stumbling west toward nearby Lawndale Avenue before he collapsed.
"He was very nice," she said as she lit candles for a vigil for Austin. "My grandbabies loved him to death."
Around the corner on Lawndale Avenue, friends said Austin, the father of a 6-year-old girl who lives on the block, was known as a joker who could make anyone laugh.
"He could've got paid to do" comedy, said one friend, a mother who declined to be identified, but who said she speaks for his Lawndale family.
"He was loved — he grew up around here," she added. "What happened was real mindless. I'm really hurting for his daughter though — she's a daddy's girl."
Austin was taken to Stroger Hospital and pronounced dead at 1:38 a.m.
Police said no suspects have been arrested in connection to the shooting — a detail not lost on his friends, who said they feared retaliation if their names were released.
Police said Austin is a documented gang member.
According to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office, Austin lived on the 1100 block of North Ridgeway Avenue — a quarter-mile west of where he died. But neighbors of the home where he lived on the block said his family has since moved.
Relatives could not be reached for comment Friday.