6 shot in East Garfield Park

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Six men were shot, two fatally, Sunday afternoon in the East Garfield Park neighborhood on the West Side, Chicago police said.

The two men who were killed, ages 23 and 27, were both shot in the chest, police said. One of them was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Chicago Fire Department officials.

They were shot about 4:30 p.m. in the 3500 block of West Van Buren. The victims were standing in a group when a white, four-door sedan, possibly a Chevrolet Impala, pulled up and multiple people started shooting at them.

The other victims include: a 26-year-old man shot in right leg in good condition; a 23-year-old man shot in the back in critical condition; a 24-year-old man shot in the chest, back and leg in critical condition; and a man in his 20s who was shot in his chest in critical condition.

The offenders' vehicle was recovered by police, but no one was in custody Sunday night.

Residents say the block, just off the Eisenhower Expressway, has become a hotspot for drug trafficking. Dealers have had success hiding their drugs in the area whenever cops are called, the residents said.

A group of about 30 people was seen on the block in the hours before the shooting, with some running up and down the street. The residents said it looked like an argument had broken out.

"It's so heart-wrenching to walk up to this yellow and red tape. And this is what we come two to three times a week. Right in our front door," said Vicki Taylor, a lifelong member of People's Church of the Good Harvest, located across the street from where the shooting occurred.

The congregation has worked hard to improve the neighborhood, opening new homes in the area recently, but drug activity is difficult to overcome.

"They sell marijuana on this block. Marijuana seems to be very tough to deal with. The policy of ticketing these individuals is not helped us, it is simply just allows them to stand out here day in and day out and continue to do the business," said Ald. Jason Ervin (28th Ward), who lives nearby.

The shooting comes a day after Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson touting a reduction in gun violence from this time last year to now.

"We are seeing huge progress in terms of reduction of violence," Johnson said Saturday.

While overall violence has declined, Ald. Ervin said that things are getting worse in his neighborhood, not better.

"The situation with the sale of narcotics openly in this community has led to so much destruction and until we're able to tackle that problem this will continue," Ervin said.

Sun-Times Media contributed to this report. null
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