CHICAGO — A West Pullman woman died of a gunshot wound early Saturday morning after attending a fundraiser for an anti-violence group.
About 10:35 p.m. Friday, officers heard shots and found the 32-year-old woman, later identified as Leonore Draper, shot inside a Honda sedan at the corner of West 116th Street and South Laflin Street.
Draper had been shot in her arm as she sat inside a sedan parked on the curb in front of her home.
The 32-year-old was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn where she was pronounced dead at 12:32 a.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.
As of early Saturday morning, no one was in custody in connection with the shooting, police said.
Draper helped organize a charity fundraiser for Project Orange Tree, a teen-run organization that seeks to educate young people about violence and its causes, said event publicist Christina Isherwood. Friday night's Charitable Confections event took place at the Urban Art Society in Streeterville.
Project Orange Tree was founded in 2013, following the death of Hadiya Pendleton.
Nza-Ari Khepra, a senior at King College Prep and one of the organization's student leaders, said she had met Draper in person for the first time at the event. The two had communicated via phone and email about fundraising prior to that.
"The impression I got was that she was a good person trying to do good things," Khepra said. "Few people try to help their communities like she was."
Khepra said about 200 people attended the event, but the organization hasn't counted the funds raised because of Draper's death.
Draper worked for Chicago Public Schools as a budget analyst, said CPS spokesman Joel Hood.
Neighbors and passing cars slowed to look at the sedan where police found Draper. The window on the driver's door was shattered, and blood stained the interior, including a cellphone that rested on the dashboard. A bullet hole marked the passenger side rear door.
Neighbors said someone inside a dark-colored van began firing shots near West 116th Street and South Bishop Street but were not sure what led to the shooting.
"I heard some gunshots. We don't usually hear gunshots on this corner. We call it 'Mayberry' because it's quiet," said Robin Anderson, who lives across the street from the Drapers. "When I ran out, I saw her in her car shot in the head."
But while the corner on which Draper was shot is quiet, other neighbors say the neighborhood at large has gotten quite violent.
Renee Richmond said Draper and her husband had moved into their West Pullman home about a year ago. Saturday morning, Richmond stood looking at Draper's car.
"I think they're just ignorant," she said of the shooters.
"There's been a lot of shootings around here lately," Richmond said about the surrounding blocks.
Arlette Ware, who lives two doors down from Draper's home, said the 32-year-old was nice whenever she saw her.
"It's sad. It's really, really sad," she said.
Ware, who has lived in West Pullman since 1962, said the neighborhood has taken a turn for the worse in the past five years.
"It was such a beautiful neighborhood, a safe neighborhood," Ware said. "But then a bad environment moved in, like with so many neighborhoods in this city."
Draper was one of three people killed in shootings Friday night across the city, and at least 23 more people were wounded in shootings through Saturday morning.