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Mom: ‘A miracle’ that son shot on State Street bridge survived

Loop bicycle officers secure scene Monday evening shooting which Todd Brown (inset) was shot head from behind middle State Street

Loop bicycle officers secure the scene of a Monday evening shooting in which Todd Brown (inset) was shot in the head from behind in the middle of the State Street Bridge. | Dom Najolia~Sun-Times

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Updated: September 11, 2011 12:45AM

The mother of a man shot in the head on the State Street bridge over the Chicago River says it’s a miracle he survived.

Mildred Gooden said Tuesday that her son, Todd Brown, was walking to the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse, where he works, when he was shot at close range at 5:05 p.m. Monday.

“It’s a miracle, it’s a blessing from God that he is not dead,” she said. “I am really grateful for that.”

Brown, who lives in the Jackson Park Highlands neighborhood on the Southeast Side, took a bus to work and was walking north across the bridge when he was shot, his mother said.

“He told me, ‘Ma, I never saw anyone,’ ” Gooden said.

It’s not the first time Brown has been shot. On Aug. 28, 2010, he was wounded in the leg at 58th and Cottage Grove. No one was arrested, records show.

Brown was sentenced to three years in prison in 2008 after he pleaded guilty to aggravated battery for fighting with police officers during an arrest in the Rogers Park neighborhood, court records show.

Monday’s shooting rattled rush-hour commuters, including witnesses who came to Brown’s aid. The gunman, armed with a chrome handgun, escaped. He ran south on State Street, then east on Wacker. Police said they were reviewing surveillance cameras in the area.

“We don’t believe this is a random event,” Belmont Area Police Cmdr. Gary Yamashiroya said Monday.

Brown, 29, is recovering at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he’s in serious condition. The bullet lodged in his skin but didn’t pass into his skull, officials said.

“The bullet is in his head, and they don’t want to move it,” Gooden said. “They don’t want any more swelling. It’s really overwhelming.”

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