ENGLEWOOD — Marcus Rush's family thinks he might have been killed simply because of the company he keeps.
"It doesn't matter if you are in a gang," said cousin Shakya Bishop, 20. "If you are from a neighborhood, people associate you with the people you're around."
Rush was discovered in an alley in the 7000 block of South Morgan Street shot in his back shortly after 7 p.m Saturday, police said.
The father of a 1-year-old girl named Jamiyah was sent to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in critical condition, where he died at 2:05 a.m. Sunday morning, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.
Rush, described by family and friends as a quiet, funny and devoted man, had no known gang ties, according to police.
But he has lost a few friends to gun violence in the past year, including Joseph Coleman, a teenager known by his rap alias Lil JoJo, who was killed in a drive-by last September just a mile from where Rush was gunned down.
For months before his death, Coleman, a member of a Gangster Disciples faction, was known to have been feuding with rival rappers Lil Reese, Lil Durk and Chief Keef, who are reportedly members of the Lamron faction of the Black Disciples.
Leonard "L'A Capone" Anderson, a rapper affiliated with Lil Durk, was shot and killed Thursday evening.
Another close friend of Rush, 22-year-old Jarell Dotson, was fatally shot in the neighborhood in May, family said.
Police wouldn't comment if there was a connection with any of the shootings.
"It hurt my heat [sic] dey took my homie!! #NoLacking," Rush wrote on his Twitter account—which also has several references to Lil JoJo—the day after Dotson died.
"He just lost his close friends," said cousin Aaliyah Wheatley, 19. "He was concerned about his safety."
Though they all moved away from the neighborhood, Rush and his cousins still had a connection with the area around 70th and Morgan streets.
Rush, who attended Dunbar High School and graduated from Ada McKinley Academy, would often visit the old neighborhood and his friends while visiting with his mother, daughter and daughter's mother in Bronzeville.
"It's where he grew up," said friend Sally Thurman, 21, who recently moved to Springfield from the Far South Side. "I last saw him there when I was visiting Chicago on my birthday [in July] ... I knew that's where he hangs out."
Family said Rush recently got a restaurant job and was devoted to providing for his family, particularly his daughter.
"He takes care of her like a father is supposed to," Wheatley said. "He loved his daughter. That was his heart."