Shooting of 6 at party may be hate crime
Gunmen bust in, start blasting in 'Gay House'
January 1, 2007 - Chicago Sun Times
BY MARK J. KONKOL Staff Reporter
Two masked gunmen kicked open the side and back doors of a South Side home known as the "Gay House" and started shooting up a party there early Sunday morning.
Six people were shot -- two hospitalized with serious injuries -- when the gunmen opened fire on about 100 partygoers about 5:30 a.m. at the house is in the 7900 block of South Woodlawn Avenue.
"They just bust[ed] through the door, and everything went haywire," said a partygoer, who would not give his name. "I hope to God they catch whoever did this."
Detectives canvassed the area Sunday morning, but no suspects were in custody.
"They came in and started shooting. The motive is unknown, and we haven't determined if it is gang-related or not," police spokeswoman Monique Bond said. "The difficulty is that the gunmen were masked."
The police Civil Rights Unit is assisting to determine if the shooting was a hate crime, but it has not been classified as such yet, Bond said.
The gunmen, who fired semi-automatic weapons, did not utter slurs or have any verbal exchange with people at the party.
But some neighborhood folks said they wouldn't be surprised if the shooting was motivated by anti-gay sentiments.
"We always be seeing them, and they always be looking at people," said Kevin Carter, 18. "They give you that gay look, like you're a female or something. That ain't cute. People be ready to fight . . . I knew something was going to happen to that house."
Other neighbors said the site of the shooting houses loud weekend parties that last into the wee hours of the morning. Police often respond to noise complaints, a neighbor said.
All victims male
The gun blasts sounded like "bricks being slammed against a garbage can," neighbor Greg Jackson said.
A man who identified himself as "Mr. Cartel" said his brother, who lives at the site of the shooting, has complained to him about being "harassed" for being gay since the summer.
"I know they have been having problems periodically. That's why I've been coming over here to check up on him," Mr. Cartel said. "I hope this was not a hate crime."
A man who lives at the house and only would identify himself as a "Chicago Tribune employee" declined comment except to say, "These are trying times, and s--- happens."
All six of the victims are males and were taken to area hospitals. Two were listed in stable condition with gunshot wounds to the chest. The other victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said.
Police ask that anyone with information about the shooting contact Calumet Area detectives at (312) 747-8271.