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Community Activist Hal Baskin's Son Wounded in Shooting

By Emily Morris | October 8, 2013 7:52am
 The son of community activist Hal Baskin was shot Monday night, a family spokesman said.
The son of community activist Hal Baskin was shot Monday night, a family spokesman said.
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CHICAGO — The son of Englewood activist Hal Baskin was hurt in a shooting Monday night just blocks away from his father's community center, and his family is asking anyone who might know something to speak up.

The anti-gang activist is calling for peace and asking for no retaliation after his 25-year-old son, Hal Baskin Jr., was shot in his hip, said family spokesman and Englewood Political Task Force Vice President Keith Harris.

He and another man were shot in the 6600 block of South Peoria Street, Harris said. The other man suffered a graze wound on his head. The shooting occurred about 5:40 p.m., according to police.

Baskin Jr., the youngest of Hal Baskin Sr.'s three children, was in fair condition Monday night at Stroger Hospital, Harris said.

"He's doing good, he's conscious," Harris said. "He's definitely gonna pull through." 

They were shot about two blocks away from the youth-focused PEACE Community Center at 6455 S. Peoria St., which the elder Baskin co-founded.

Family believe that this was a random shooting, and the younger Baskin was not the intended target, Harris said.

Harris described Baskin Jr. as a "normal 20-something" whose handsome looks mean "the girls always like him." He helps his father out at the community center and isn't involved with gangs, Harris said.

Harris urged anyone who knows something about the shooting and is afraid to talk to police to call 773-236-0258 and speak anonymously. Those with information also can call police detectives at  312-747-8271.

Baskin Jr. is at least the second of the community leader's family members to become a victim of gun violence this year in Englewood. On Mother's Day, his great-nephew Ronald Baskin, 21, was shot and killed in the 6500 block of South Green Street.

Before that, Hal Baskin lost his youngest brother, Rodney Baskin Sr., in 1994, Harris said. He also lost his nephew, a son of Rodney Baskin Jr., in 2006.

"Unfortunately, his family has been touched by gun violence more than any family should," Harris said.

Before he was an activist, Hal Baskin Sr. was a gang member. He denounced his gang ties in his early 20s and has been working to mentor young men and provide youth services ever since, Harris said.

The local violence is part of a greater problem, Harris said, one in which young people feel they don't have alternatives and opportunities to escape the streets.

"We need to get back to community living where we look after each other, take care of each other and get involved in our communities, not just when something [tragic] happens," Harris said.

The family is in "good spirits" despite the violence, Harris said, and the elder Hal Baskin is propping them up as their "rock."

"Hal's a strong guy, and he has to be strong for the family," Harris said.

Hal Baskin Jr. was among eight people shot across Chicago between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.