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Gunmen Open Fire On Near West Side Chicken Shack, Wound 12-Year-Old Boy

By  Joe Ward and Evan F.  Moore | May 19, 2016 8:40pm | Updated on May 20, 2016 9:12am

 Gunmen shot into a West Side chicken shop Wednesday, wounding a 12-year-old boy.
Gunmen shot into a West Side chicken shop Wednesday, wounding a 12-year-old boy.
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NEAR WEST SIDE — Gunmen opened fire on a group of teens standing inside a Near West Side restaurant Wednesday, just days after a massive fight broke out near the location, according to police and witnesses.

The boy was with three other kids and an adult at 6:57 p.m. Wednesday in Golden Fish & Chicken, 2356 W. Jackson Blvd., when two men leaned out of a passing red SUV and opened fire, according to police.

The boy, who was shot in his left leg, was taken to Stroger Hospital in good condition, said Officer Kevin Quaid, a Chicago Police Department spokesman.

The incident was captured on security cameras, which one store owner said shows two Latino men leaning out of the red SUV and opening fire on the restaurant.

"I've been watching the footage all night," she said. "Our glass was all shot up. So was our doors. I don't know what's going on out there."

Bullets crashed through windows and the front door of the restaurant, though only the 12-year-old boy was shot. Security footage shared with DNAinfo shows customers scrambling as the windows are shattered.

Bullet holes remain in the door to Golden Fish & Chicken, 2356 W. Jackson Blvd., after a shooting Wednesday. [DNAinfo/Evan F. Moore]

A second store owner, who was present at the shooting, said employees worked to help the boy and even called his mother, Tabitha Lindsey, who lives across the street.

"He told me that my son had been hit and that he was going to be OK," Lindsey said of the call she received from the restaurant. "I went over to the scene."

Crews replaced the broken windows Thursday, but bullet holes were still visible in the restaurant's front door. The business was closed Thursday, but owners were there and talking to customers about the incident.

"I want to show our customers that we're still here, that we're concerned," the owner said.

The restaurant is near the scene of a massive brawl that spilled out into the intersection of Western Avenue and Jackson Boulevard Monday afternoon. Witnesses said at least 60 people were involved in that fight, which was captured on video and widely shared through social media.

The owner said the brawl and Wednesday's shooting were the only two major incidents the restaurant has encountered since opening on the corner eight months ago, though she acknowledged they were major incidents.

"This past couple weeks have been crazy," she said. "Maybe because it's getting warmer out."

The owner and her partner also own a chicken and fish restaurant on 63rd Street in Chicago Lawn, so they are familiar with running a business in areas plagued with violence.

"We knew that the West Side is crazy," said the co-owner, who wished to remain anonymous. "If you're scared about where you put your business, then don't open up."

Despite this, the owner said the business is running smoothly and that its customers do not seem to be the violent individuals. A liquor store down the street attracts vagrants, and Lindsey said there's always a group of "boys" hanging out near Western and Jackson.

Instead, the owners said they think their business is at an unfortunate location at the center of a gang turf war, which could have been the reason for the brawl, they said.

"You're in the middle of the gangs," said the co-owner. "This is the reality."

No arrests have been made in the shooting, police said.

The boy in the yellow shirt was shot in the drive-by, according to the boy's mother. [Submitted photo]

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