CHATHAM — Neighbors are complaining that a two-story apartment building in the 8200 block of South Vernon Avenue is a magnet for trouble and want police to get involved.
A resident of the building at 8245 S. Vernon St., Ladarius Brisco, 17, was shot and killed nearby last December. On Monday, there was a shooting on the block, according to Chicago police, and neighbors are worried that when the weather warms up, there will be more shooting.
Young people hang out in front of the building selling drugs and annoying neighbors, said Worlee Glover, a 25-year Chatham resident who started the Concerned Citizens for Chatham website for people to express their concerns about the neighborhood.
"It has become a nuisance to the neighborhood and attracts criminal activity to the area," Glover, 50, said of the building.
On Thursday, a group of youths observed standing in front of the building included a few who went into the hallway to count cash. The young people declined to identify themselves to a reporter, but one said he lives on the block and that his friends help keep the block safe.
Referring to Ladarius, who was shot to death three months ago, four blocks away in the 8200 block of South Champlain Avenue, one of the people hanging out in front of the building Thursday told DNAinfo: "We just come through here every so often to check on my boy's mom. My boy was killed not too long ago."
Brisco's mother, Tameko Brisco, 39, said her son "was not in a gang and did not sell drugs or do any of that. His friends grew up with him, and they come on the block from time to time to say hi to me."
Two tenants live in the building, including Brisco, who said she has resided there for 10 years.
"Overall I have not had any problems living here. If this building was as bad as people say it is, I would have left a long time ago," said Brisco, who shares a three-bedroom unit with her 23-year-old and 11-month-old sons.
The building's owner Calvin Perry, a disabled Vietnam veteran, said "bad' tenants had caused problems at the building.
"I have seen young guys hanging in front of the building on numerous occasions, and each time I call the police to report it," said Perry, who lives in south suburban Crete.
Perry said Brisco "had a lot of friends coming in and out the building when he was alive," adding, "I am pretty sure if he was not in a gang, his friends were, and that's what probably got him killed."
Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th), whose ward includes the building, said he was aware of the concerns residents have about the building and "want the police to handle it."
Chicago police confirmed that two arrests were made at the building for narcotics and a handgun possession on Jan. 25 and Sept. 17, 2013.