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‘Blood pools at church steps’: 5 hurt in Uptown shooting

Police investigate scene Sheridan Wilswhere five people were shot Uptown Monday.  |  Alex Wroblewski~Sun-Times

Police investigate the scene at Sheridan and Wilson, where five people were shot in Uptown on Monday. | Alex Wroblewski~Sun-Times

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Updated: September 21, 2013 6:30AM

A 21-year-old man was on life support and four others were wounded after a gunman opened fire on a group of people standing near a bus stop at a busy intersection in Uptown Monday evening, authorities said.

They were shot at 5:57 p.m. at Sheridan and Wilson, authorities said. That corner is on a Chicago Public Schools “Safe Passage” route for schoolchildren.

Chicago police initially reported that the 21-year-old man was dead after suffering a gunshot wound to the head. However, early Tuesday, police said the man was, in fact, alive. He remained on life support Tuesday morning at Advocate Illinois Masonc Medical Center, authorities said.

Three others were hospitalized in serious-to-critical condition and one was in good condition. A 44-year-old man was shot in the knee and thigh. A 32-year-old man was shot in the ankle, and a 26-year-old man was shot in both arms. A 58-year-old man was shot in the hand.

The shooting happened outside the Uptown Baptist Church. Senior church pastor Michael Allen said in a tweet that about 20 gunshots were fired outside during the church’s Monday night meal for the homeless. “Blood pools at church steps. Pray for us,” Allen said on Twitter.

About 175 people were eating tacos in the church when the shots rang out, said church volunteer Bill Shoemaker. In order to keep people calm, one church official told people the loud noises were fireworks.

The shooting occurred across the street from a crowded McDonald’s restaurant. Evidence markers dotted the street near a sidewalk covered in blood and shattered glass from a damaged bus shelter.

Scott Fishman, a photographer who lives in the neighborhood, was nearby and heard the gunshots but didn’t want to get too close to the aftermath.

“I’ve lived in this neighborhood for four years. I know the difference between fireworks and gunfire . . . and I wasn’t going out of my way to see anyones’s brains and blood on the sidewalk,” Fishman said.

Fishman and others who live nearby said that the corner where the shooting happened, which is monitored by a police camera, is regularly occupied by gang-bangers.

No one was in custody Monday night and police could offer no information on the gunman.

Area North detectives are investigating.

Contributing: Brian Slodysko

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