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Witnesses: Car flees gunshots, strikes CTA bus; eleven injured

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As diners at a busy South Side restaurant looked on in horror and dove for cover Tuesday morning, a gunman in an SUV peppered the street with bullets, forcing a fleeing car to speed through a red light and slam into a packed CTA bus.

Eleven people were hospitalized — two with serious injuries — after the No. 75 bus was rammed into a light pole at the intersection of 75th and Vincennes in Gresham at 9:35 a.m., authorities said.

Just yards from the mangled bus and car, the sidewalk was dotted with police evidence markers, bullets and shattered car glass later Tuesday morning. But in a seemingly miraculous escape that had witnesses reaching for supernatural explanations, nobody was struck by a bullet, police said.

“Do you go to church on Sundays, because you know there’s an angel looking out over you?” a detective told Mahogany Myers, 27, as he pointed to the hole where a bullet entered her Ford Mustang, shattering the driver’s side window and missing her head by inches.

Myers was just leaving Ryan Anthony’s restaurant on the 7400 block of South Vincennes when the shooting began. As she ducked, a bullet “immediately” shattered her driver’s side window, she said.

She crawled from her car back into the restaurant, where diners mistook bleeding from a cut caused by the shattered window for a bullet wound.

“I’m so glad my daughter wasn’t in there with me,” she said, surveying the carnage, her 3-year-old’s empty baby seat and a line of parked cars that were all also hit with bullets.

Chef Albert Perkins was cooking breakfasts at the restaurant when he witnessed the beginning of the dispute through a window.

“The guys in the black car were arguing real loud in the street with two men in a red truck,” he said. “Then two guys got out of the truck with an Uzi. It was probably drug related, but I wasn’t trying to listen to what they were saying, if you know what I mean,” he added.

The gunman escaped in the red SUV, he said. Police had made no arrests as of Tuesday evening, police said.

Video footage of the collision recovered from a nearby security camera shows neither the bus nor the speeding black Dodge Intrepid slowed before the dramatic impact.

The Rev. Chester McLaurin, of Emmanuel Bible Church, was one of 10 pastors enjoying a cup of coffee at Ryan Anthony’s when the shooting began right in front of him. “The Lord just saved us,” he said.

None of the injuries suffered by the 11 hospitalized in the crash are considered life-threatening, authorities said.

Contributing: Tina Sfondeles

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