KENWOOD — A fatal Wednesday night shootout inside a parked car on South Woodlawn Avenue stemmed from a "dope deal gone bad," according to police.
At a community meeting Thursday called after two men were shot — one victim was found dead inside the vehicle — Wentorth District Police Cmdr. Terence Williams and Ald. Will Burns (4th) told a crowd of about 60 residents that they don't expect any retaliation from the shooting.
Increased community involvement, however, will curb further violence, they said.
According to Williams, three men were in the parked sedan Wednesday at 4:57 p.m. in the 4500 block of South Woodlawn Avenue when shots were fired from inside the vehicle. A 26-year-old man, Donnerick McGhee, was killed in the attack, and a 20-year-old was shot in the foot.
A third man, the driver, ran two blocks away to a park before he was arrested, police said. A weapon allegedly used in the attack was later recovered.
Williams said the men involved are affiliated with a gang but that their gang is not the most violent one in the district. The area, he added, includes hundreds of suspected drug locations that police are monitoring.
"However, any time you have any type of shooting, it's an issue," Williams said, urging those at the meeting to call police about all suspicious activity.
Residents at the crime scene, as well as the meeting, described the area as "a great neighborhood" and expressed shock at the violent attack.
Police said the area has seen a 42 percent crime reduction from last year, but called on the community to remain vigilant as calls to district police are significantly down since 2012.
"People don't call police in this area — they don't," Williams told the crowd. "[Police] can be discreet, but when the community is more involved, crime goes down greatly."
In addition to drug busts, 23 local burglaries in the last 28 days, mostly connected with the return of University of Chicago students, is cause for concern, Williams said. Residents identified suspected gang initiations at King College Prep and drug deals in Mandrake Park as priority issues.
According to Michael Smith, a businessman who owns property in Kenwood, the area "has a long way to go," but he's optimistic residents will "stand up and keep an eye on the community."
"We need people to tell us what the problem areas are, and where the problem buildings are," Burns said in response to resident complaints of drug houses and drug deals in the neighborhood. "Part of it is staying on top of quality-of-life issues."