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Ireal Mitchell, 22, Killed In Garfield Park Drive-By Shooting

By Alex Nitkin | August 9, 2016 11:41am
 Ireal Mitchell, who grew up in the neighborhood, was shot while playing basketball, neighbors said.
Ireal Mitchell, who grew up in the neighborhood, was shot while playing basketball, neighbors said.
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GARFIELD PARK — A 22-year-old man was killed in a drive-by shooting in Garfield Park Monday evening, police and witnesses said.

At 7:22 p.m., the man, identified by acquaintances as Ireal Mitchell, was standing in the 800 block of South Springfield Avenue when someone shot at him from a passing gray car, according to Officer Ron Gaines, a Chicago Police Department spokesman.

The man was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead after being shot in his arm and back, Gaines said.

Delores Coleman was sitting on her porch on the adjacent 3900 block of West Polk Street when she saw Mitchell walking with another young man, she said. They had been playing basketball in a small playlot across the street.

Then "they started running, and I heard six bangs, like from a big gun," Coleman said.

When she turned the corner, Colemen said, she saw Mitchell lying motionless on the ground.

"It was horrible," Coleman said. "All this shooting needs to stop."

Ken Owens, who identified himself as Mitchell's godfather, sat on the porch of his home on Polk Street Sunday morning.

Mitchell had grown up on the block but since moved away, Owens said. But he still often came back to play basketball with his friends.

Owens, an employee of the city's Finance Department, described Mitchell as "goofy" but "respectable and polite."

"I know every time this happens, everyone starts saying 'Oh, he was a good kid,'" Owens said. "But in this case it's true — he really was a good kid. He never bothered anybody."

At 9:24 p.m., a 28-year-old man was gunned down less than a mile away.

At 10:18 p.m., 10-year-old Tavon Tanner was shot and critically wounded around the corner from where Mitchell was killed.

No one is in custody, Gaines said.

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