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Lincoln Square Residents After Fatal Shooting: 'It Happens Everywhere'

By Erica Demarest | November 19, 2013 12:49pm
 On Monday night, a 25-year-old man was fatally shot in a McDonald's parking lot, 4844 N. Lincoln Ave. On Tuesday, two candles stood where the man was slain.
On Monday night, a 25-year-old man was fatally shot in a McDonald's parking lot, 4844 N. Lincoln Ave. On Tuesday, two candles stood where the man was slain.
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DNAinfo/Erica Demarest

LINCOLN SQUARE — After a man was fatally shot in his head in a McDonald's parking lot, Lincoln Square residents on Tuesday said they still felt safe in the typically "peaceful" neighborhood.

"I'm not sure we should be surprised," said Sharon Kay, who's lived in the area for 25 years. "You like to think your neighborhood is safe, but it happens everywhere."

Shortly after 7 p.m. Monday, the 25-year-old man was shot in the 4900 block of North Lincoln Avenue, police said. He was sitting in a car when at least one shooter approached and opened fire, police said.

He was identified as Irbinzon Gonzalez by the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office Tuesday afternoon.

Police said they believed the shooting could have been related to a drug deal, and sources said Gonzalez was a documented gang member and convicted felon.

On Tuesday, the Gonzalez's family members gathered in the McDonald's parking lot to light candles and pay respects. Relatives declined to talk to the media, saying they still weren't sure what happened.

Shortly after the shooting Monday night, 29-year-old Jonathan Sanchez said he rode his bike past the McDonald's. Sanchez said police were swarming the parking lot, but he wasn't sure what happened until he watched the nightly news.

"That's Chicago for you," said Sanchez, who lives a block north of the shooting site. "It doesn't have to be summer for stuff to go down."

Sanchez has lived in the neighborhood for two years and said "There's probably nothing I'll change in my routine. Anyone can be at the wrong place, wrong time."

Francisco Benavides, a 34-year-old resident, agreed.

"I used to live in Lakeview, and I got mugged there. I used to live in Edgewater, and I got mugged there," Benavides said. "I think it's a little naive to think because you live in a certain neighborhood, bad things can't happen."

Mai Meyers, 39, said she has worked as a nanny in Lincoln Square for three years.

"It's scary to know that" a shooting happened here, she said. "I hope it's just a random incident."

Meyers takes care of three children and walks them past the McDonald's every day, she said. She said she doesn't plan to change her routine.

"What's the chance it's going to happen in the same place twice?" asked Meyers.

Longtime resident Yvonne Langworthy, 41, said she was surprised when she learned about the shooting on Facebook Tuesday morning. She said she's seen a few hit-and-runs over the years, and graffiti has become a problem recently, but shootings normally happen "farther west, not in this neighborhood."

"It's always peaceful. It's just a little tourist trap," said Langworthy, who lamented violence and drug use among young people. "It's got to be kids doing stupid, stupid stuff. You know it wouldn't happen from someone that works a full-time job. ... Kids really don't see a future."

Like everyone else interviewed, Langworthy, who's lived in Lincoln Square for two decades, said she still felt safe.

"You have to keep your eyes open and be aware of your surroundings," Kay said. "I'm not entirely sure [the people who get shot] are innocent victims. They're entangled in one way or another. You hope you're not one of them."