CHATHAM — Having Columbus Day off may have saved Chatham resident Adrian Dobbins' life.
The assistant principal woke up just before 9 a.m. to a call telling her car may have been hit during a shooting and subsequent crash near 82nd Street and Maryland Avenue.
"When I came outside there was a bunch of red and yellow tape," Dobbins, 38, said, adding that her parked car was badly damaged in the incident. "I’m still blessed because I’m here. Because with my schedule I could’ve been caught in the crossfire. This is just a huge inconvenience time wise and financial wise, but I’m still here."
A passenger in the black Chevrolet Impala was shot in his upper back and was found dead at the scene, police said.
He was identified as 49-year-old Anthony Williamson, of the 8700 block of South Ashland Avenue, by the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.
The driver was shot in his head and is in critical condition at Stroger Hospital.
The sedan was moving west in the 800 block of East 82nd Street when shots were fired near Drexel Boulevard.
After the two men were shot, the driver continued until he hit three parked cars and came to a stop near Maryland Avenue.
A woman who said she witnessed the incident said it began near 82nd Street and Drexel Avenue, when she heard four shots then saw a younger man stumble out of the black Chevy. She said the driver sped off, swerving and hitting vehicles before crashing at the corner of 82nd and Maryland. The action made her believe the younger man was hit by the car — until she saw that he had been shot in the head.
The man found near Drexel, thought to be in his 20s, was taken in critical condition to Stroger Hospital, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Juan Hernandez said.
"I asked him if he was OK ... he couldn't do nothing, I just saw one finger twitching. So I sat and prayed with him," said the woman, who feared giving her name would put her in danger.
As she prayed, her son ran to the vehicle on Maryland and checked on the man driving the Impala. He had also been shot in the head, she said.
Dobbins said she has lived in the neighborhood since 2005 and the crime has only gotten worse since she moved in.
"There’s always been crime but to be honest it has gotten progressively worse," Dobbins said. "Inside my place I loved it. I love it still. It’s like outside of your place you just don’t know. Going to your car ... coming from your car ... you just don’t know. It’s pretty disheartening."
No one was in custody for the shooting as of Monday evening.