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17-year-old among five fatally shot in weekend violence

Richard Modell 16 was shot pronounced dead outside this home 6300 block S. Rhodes Avenue Chicago. Sunday October 14 2012

Richard Modell, 16, was shot and pronounced dead outside this home in the 6300 block of S. Rhodes Avenue in Chicago. Sunday, October 14, 2012 | Richard A. Chapman~Sun-Times

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Updated: November 16, 2012 6:16AM

Miles Turner was always “looking after the underdog” and “there to protect guys,” his high school football coach said.

On Saturday, the Leo High School senior’s actions were no different.

The 350-pound offensive lineman was seriously injured trying to block bullets from hitting his younger cousin, Richard Modell, a purported gang member fatally shot outside a Woodlawn gathering, officials said.

Since Friday night, Modell was one of five people fatally shot, and Turner was one of at least 24 wounded by gunfire.

The attack was similar to others around the city, which happened primarily on the South and West sides. Three of the five murder victims were alleged gang members and at least 15 of the shootings involved a gang member who was shot or pulled the trigger, a police source said.

The cousins had just arrived at a gathering in the 6300 block of South Rhodes when a gunman walked up to the front porch and opened fire, said a young woman who lived at the home and asked to remain anonymous.

She said the gathering started as a “ladies night” to celebrate her last weekend in Chicago before returning to Western Illinois University following fall break. Turner, who took the woman to prom, and Modell came to visit later.

Modell, 17, was shot in the upper body at 9:20 p.m., police said. Turner, 18, “leaped in to save him and got himself shot,” said Michael Holmes, Leo football coach.

A police source said Modell was a known gang-member and detectives are investigating if a rival gang member targeted him in retaliation. Turner had no known gang affiliations, police said.

Modell, of the 6500 block of South Rhodes, was declared dead at Stroger Hospital less than an hour after he was shot, according to the medical examiner’s office.

“He was just Modell,” the woman said. “I can’t [describe him] in one word. He was silly. Funny.”

Turner, 6-foot-1, was shot in the legs multiple times and taken in serious condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, authorities said. Leo President Dan McGrath said Turner was the second student shot this year. Incoming freshman Antonio Davis was enrolled in summer programs when he shot dead in July.

Holmes described Turner as a “gentle giant” who hoped to play college football as an offensive lineman. It is unclear whether his injuries will keep him from playing in the future.

Turner had been sidelined most of the season with a concussion but was recently cleared to return this week for Senior Night, Holmes said. Turner is now done for the season and will “focus on walking across the stage for graduation,” McGrath said.

“Miles [is] really a very well-liked guy … He is the kind of kid who went out of his way to be friendly and polite. He even went out of his way to say hello to the ladies in the office,” McGrath said.

Modell and Turner were not the only people wounded when gunfire broke out at a party. Another young man was shot dead at a house party less than two miles away about seven hours later.

Jamiere Brown, 18, was shot in the chest at 4:20 a.m. during a dice game inside an apartment building in the 5300 block of South Calumet, said a police source. Partygoers ran out the back door and police found Brown, of the 7300 block of South St. Lawrence, unresponsive in the kitchen with a gunshot wound to the chest. Building residents declined to comment Sunday morning.

Three other people were shot dead since Friday night.

William Thomas, 73, of the 1700 block of East 68th was shot dead around 7:15 p.m. Friday when he was struck in the head with a stray bullet while sitting on a porch in the 6800 block of South East End Avenue, authorities said.

About four hours later, somebody inside a dark vehicle fatally shot 34-year-old Evergreen Park resident Lafayette Johnson in the 7100 block of South Eggleston, authorities said.

At 9:10 a.m. Saturday, Nawal Aysheh, 20, was fatally shot in her home in the 4800 block of West Wolfram during a domestic disturbance at her home, police said. Ibrahim Aysheh, who sources identified as her brother, was charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Chicago Police said there have been 406 homicides through Sept. 30, a 28 percent increase through the first nine months of 2011.

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