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Rogers Park Murder: 'People Get Immune to Stuff Like That'

By Erica Demarest | November 27, 2013 11:16am
 A man was found fatally shot in his head and chest in an alley in the 7500 block of North Greenview Avenue.
A man was found fatally shot in his head and chest in an alley in the 7500 block of North Greenview Avenue.
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DNAinfo/Erica Demarest

ROGERS PARK — After a young man was fatally shot in Rogers Park Wednesday, neighbors said they weren't surprised and blamed the homicide on gang activity — though police haven't confirmed a possible motive.

Resident Tony Lloyd said shootings happen too often in Rogers Park.

"Sometimes people get immune to stuff like that happening every day," Lloyd said, adding that he worries people won't get involved with anti-violence efforts because they view shootings as commonplace.

"People do a lot of dumb stuff around here," Lloyd said. "We definitely need help trying to straighten this stuff out."

About 2:50 a.m. Wednesday, police found a man shot to death in the 7500 block of North Greenview Avenue. He had been shot in his face and chest and was left in the mouth of an alley.

He was pronounced dead on the scene at 3:12 a.m. Wednesday and identified as Mark Villannera, 30, of the 7600 block of North Bosworth Avenue, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.

As of midday Wednesday, detectives were offering few details as they continued their investigation.

Morgan Bamonti, 27, who moved to Rogers Park this summer, said the murder didn't shock her, but "it's not that we have shootings every weekend."

Bamonti said she remembered a July shooting that left a 22-year-old man dead near Willye B. White Park. It happened right after she moved to the neighborhood.

"I know a lot of the inner conflict is between gang rivals. No one is out here trying to shoot me," Bamonti said. "But it doesn't make me feel comfortable to be walking around alone."

Antonio Lawson, 27, grew up in Chicago but currently lives in Iowa. He's in Rogers Park for Thanksgiving and said he was "not at all" surprised by the shooting.

"It does [concern me], but not a whole lot," Lawson said. "I mean, what can I do?"

One man said he wasn't surprised by the shooting and didn't worry about his own safety.

"I think it's between the gangsters themselves. They don't talk to the regular public."

But one woman, who declined to be named, said gang members and "people that look questionable" are impacting her day-to-day life.

"Sometimes [my husband and I] will get urges to go for pop" at night, she said. "And it's like, 'Should we go? Should we go?' ... I don't like the neighborhood. I'm scared to go out at night."

Bamonti, who often walks her dog through the neighborhood, said she likes Rogers Park but "it turns into a totally different beast at night."