CHICAGO - An innocent bystander was shot early Tuesday morning after a violent carjacking in Chicago's South Loop, police said.
The victim, identified by friends as 27-year-old Leon Jackson, was shot once in the back.
Jackson's friends said they were walking to their cars near South Wabash Avenue and East Cermak Road around 1:40 a.m. Tuesday when a silver Jeep Grand Cherokee pulled up and three men wearing ski masks jumped out. At least one of them had a handgun.
The group said they saw the men carjack a man in a BMW. While this was happening, one of the masked men approached Jackson and his friends. Police said they tried to rob Jackson, and then told him if he ran he would be shot. That's exactly what happened.
He was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where his condition stabilized.
Jackson spoke last week at a ceremony for his friend Blair Holt, who was killed in 2007. Holt, a popular Percy Julian High School student, was fatally shot on a CTA bus as he tried to protect a friend from a gang member who was trying to shoot a rival.
"My name is Leon Jackson. Blair was one of my very, very close friends - more like a brother. He helped start at the organization YMCA, more than 13 years ago," Jackson said.
Jackson stood shoulder to shoulder with Holt's parents and city leaders as a street was named after his friend. It's ironic that less than a week later, Jackson would also become the innocent victim of a senseless shooting.
The 28-year-old man driving the BMW was not injured.
Area Central detectives are working to locate the suspects and the stolen vehicle, which is a gray 2006 BMW.