Man killed in South Loop shooting ID'd

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Police are searching for the gunman after a man was killed and a woman was injured in a South Loop shooting Monday morning. (WLS)

Police are searching for the gunman after a man was killed and a woman was injured in a South Loop shooting Monday morning.

Chicago police said Sami Salaymeh, 27, was sitting in the passenger's seat of his friend's car near East 24th and South Michigan Avenue about 4 a.m. Monday when someone came up to the car and started shooting.

"They smiled at them - I don't know why, the guy and the girl - and then they started shooting at them," said Fatin Salaymeh, the victim's mother.

Sami Salaymeh was shot in the stomach and arm, and a 23-year-old woman was shot in the right leg, police said. She was treated and released from the hospital Monday.

"I would always pray that I would go before them. Let me be buried before them. Don't ever let me handle a child. I can't handle that," his mother said. "He did not deserve to die. Why? Why? He's not in gangs."

With two passengers hit by bullets, the driver didn't wait to call an ambulance - he took off for Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

"He didn't wait for an ambulance, they didn't make a phone call," his mother said. "He drove as fast as he could. They said he did what he could."

His family said doctors at Northwestern Hospital rushed Sami Salaymeh into surgery before calling his mother.

"She said, 'Get here as fast as you can, make sure someone's driving,'" she said. "My other son called who was already at the hospital and said, 'Mom, Sami,' and I just hit the dashboard, screamed... He didn't have to say it. I knew it was over."

Police said bullets struck backseat passenger Christina Reitz, the daughter of the town of Cicero's tax collector. Sami Salaymeh's mother said the four people in the car had been out at a dance club.

"I'm just hoping somebody comes up and says there was a car that came up and saw the shooting and left," Sami Salaymeh's mother said. "They would know what kind of car it was."

Fatin Salaymeh said her son served three years in the Navy and was killed just days before his birthday. Now, several families are looking for more answers, and the Salaymehs will spend the first night of Ramadan without one of their own.

Chicago police have not said if the people in the car were targeted or what may have led to the shooting.
Related Topics:
newschicago shootingchicago violenceChicago - South Loop
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