Building rehabber recovering after West Side shooting

November 12, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Chicago police say they are still searching for the gunman responsible for critically wounding the rehabber. At this hour, investigators say the man was attacked for an "unknown" reason, adding that it appears the shooting could be a crime of opportunity.

"I was just sitting in the backyard and I heard a gunshot," said neighborhood resident Robert Jones. "Some of the other neighbors were saying it was fireworks. But I said it sounded more like a gunshot."

Jones is surprised by the recent attack that left a rehabber critically wounded and others, like contractor William Jackson, on edge. The longtime painter was a little more cautious as he headed to his first job of the day in the West Side neighborhood just hours after the shooting.

"You've got to be prepared when you come in strange neighborhoods. You've always got to be prepared for whatever," said Jackson.

But it appears that the man rehabbing the two flat in the 1400-block of North Menard was not.

Investigators say the attack happened Thursday Night around 5:50 p.m. as the man finished his work for the day. That's when, witnesses say, the 42-year-old worker went to retrieve some of his tools. They say he was confronted by at least one attacker before shots rang out.

The victim, who only speaks Polish, was shot once in the chest. Authorities say he was rushed to an area hospital in critical condition.

Meanwhile, as detectives continue their investigation, some homeowners remain concerned and blame the tough economy in part for the recent violence.

"It's really not a bad neighborhood," said Jones. "You see some board-ups, but you know what's going on with the economy and stuff like that. You normally wouldn't see something like this, someone getting shot."

Police investigators say some witnesses did report seeing a group of men near the scene, but no one is in custody.

Detectives are still trying to figure out what, if anything, was taken from the worker.

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