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Two Fathers, Longtime Friends, Shot Dead Near Uptown School Identified

By  Alex Nitkin and Josh McGhee | September 2, 2015 8:04am | Updated on September 11, 2015 8:14pm

 Two men were gunned down in Uptown early Wednesday morning, police said.
Two men were gunned down in Uptown early Wednesday morning, police said.
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DNAinfo/Josh McGhee

UPTOWN — Two longtime friends were shot to death near their grade school in Uptown early Wednesday morning, police said.

At 2:17 a.m., officers found the two men unresponsive in the 5000 block of North Winthrop Avenue after they were shot multiple times, according to Officer Jose Estrada, a Chicago Police spokesman.

One of the men, 32, was pronounced dead on scene, Estrada said. The other, 34, was taken to Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where doctors pronounced him dead.

The men were later identified as Michael Gibbs, 32, and Robert Anderson, 34, by the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. Gibbs was pronounced dead at 2:41 a.m. at the scene and Anderson, of the 7900 block of Ridgeland, was pronounced dead at 2:55 a.m. at the scene, according to the Medical Examiner's Office.

Three men are in custody in connection to the incident, Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) said in an email Wednesday afternoon. Police would not confirm anyone was in custody for the incident, but a police source said the men were documented gang members.

Jim Moore, who's lived on the "normally very quiet block" for about 8 years, heard about five shots early Wednesday and woke up to police reviewing security footage of his apartment.

In 2012, 46-year-old Aswell Selmon was shot and killed outside his home on the same block. After that shooting, Osterman said that the problem was gang violence and the "community is stuck in the middle of it."

Family and friends at the scene identified one of the men as Robert and the other as Michael, but their ages were unclear. The two were found near an entrance to a parking lot on the block, they said.

Charla, who refused to give her last name, said Michael was the father of her two grandchildren. Down the block from the shooting, she broke down in tears looking at Goudy Elementary School, 5120 N. Winthrop Ave., where she first encountered him.

"I watched him grow up. He was just a little boy. I met [him] when he was about nine. He was just crazy about my daughter," adding the couple had two boys, about 6 and 7 years old. "He was very good with kids. He would take all the neighborhood kids out."

She moved off the block about fifteen years, but came back this morning and planned to leave some balloons at the scene, she said.

"I don't believe this. I wish I had a chance to talk to [him] before this. He was a good person just had a few flaws like all of us," she said.

Lisa Jones, who grew up in Uptown, said the men were friends for nearly two decades. Robert was married with a young son and no longer lived in the area, she said.

"He had just left a party and came over here," Jones said. "This was just his community."

The two got into a fight with another man before the shooting and were likely standing up for each other when they were shot, she said. The shooting stemmed from a beef that began a few weeks ago, she said.

"Robert was like a brother so it was shocking to hear something happened to him while he was trying to diffuse the situation. I'm still in disbelief," Jones said.

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