A 24-year-old Hyde Park resident who was registered at one time as a U of C student is in critical condition after being shot in the chest during an altercation with a neighbor Wednesday night. The neighbor, 48, was found by the state attorney to have acted in self-defense, and no charges will be filed.
“Apparently the 24-year-old guy and his friend were in the lobby around 7:30, extremely drunk, and came up to the man while he was checking his mail and made fun of him for being fat,” said Brian Hinkle (A.B. ’07), who also lives in their apartment building at 5480 South Cornell Avenue. “They then went up in the elevator with him, continuing to yell at him and then pushed him.”
According to police, the men followed the 48-year-old, whom Hinkle was able to identify by the first name Everett, into the fourth-floor hallway and then “verbally and physically assaulted him,” at one point striking him with a vodka bottle.
“The 24-year-old threatened the 48-year-old, started hitting him, yelling at him, and then followed the older man down the hallway,” said Chicago Police Officer JoAnn Taylor.
As the older man tried to enter his apartment, his younger assailant kicked in the door behind him and continued to attack him. The older man then retrieved a gun from inside his apartment and shot the 24-year old.
“By virtue of being a security guard, the guy had a .38 snub nose revolver in his apartment, so he grabbed it and shot him once in the chest,” Hinkle said. “It’s actually a miracle he’s alive; the bullet went in right near his heart. When my neighbor came out to perform first aid she thought he was dead because he didn’t get up at all.”
According to police, the man, whom Hinkle said was named Patrick and had recently moved into an apartment on the seventh floor of the building, was listed as being in critical condition at Stroger Cook County Hospital Wednesday night. Police were unable to provide a medical update Thursday or confirm the names of either man involved.
“After the older man went into his apartment to call 911, the guy’s friend tried to hide the vodka bottle on a window sill one floor up,” Hinkle said. “It took the police about five minutes to find.”
According to Hinkle, the police recognized Patrick’s friend from previous arrests for drunk and disorderly conduct and spousal abuse and questioned him at length after the shooting. The CPD could only say that the friend was considered a “witness” in the matter. Neighbors said that this was not the first time the men had been drunk inside the building.
“The night before the shooting, the two of them, obviously drunk, asked my neighbor if she wanted to go swimming in the lake with them,” Hinkle said.
“The shooting victim registered for two classes in 2003 as a non-degree- seeking student,” said University spokesman Bill Harms. The man has not been affiliated with the University since then.