Armani Dickinson, 19, was found lying on the ground shortly before 12:30 a.m. in an alley in the 5300 block of South Hermitage Avenue in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, Wednesday, March 23, 2016. Dickinson was shot in the back of the head and pronounced dead at the scene, making him one of more than 130 people shot to death in Chicago in the first three months of 2016. The year finished with 781 homicides, the most in a single year since 1996. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Diann Aldridge hugs her grandchildren, Summer, left, Sincere, right, and Shavae, center, during a vigil for their mother, Nykea Aldridge, at the Willie Mae Morris Empowerment Center, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016. Aldridge, a 32-year-old mother of four, and the cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade, was shot and killed by repeat offenders while pushing her infant daughter, Da'Kota, in a stroller in the 6300 block of South Calumet in the Parkway Gardens neighborhood.
"Thank God she was on this Earth for as long as she was to bring joy to our hearts," said her mother, Diann Aldridge.
"Her life is gone. And she can't come back. This is my baby girl, just a life that's gone too soon. She was taken away from us." | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Antwon Brooks, 42, and 33-year-old Javil Nunn were gunned down on a porch shortly after 1 a.m. in the 9000 block of South Marshfield in the Brainerd neighborhood, just hours after they attended the funeral for another victim of Chicago's gun violence, Sunday, June 12, 2016.
Dontell Petty, 37, one of more than a dozen people gathered in the street outside the crime scene tape, said Brooks — who he called "Ice" because he was "slick as ice" — was his cousin, a father of two with four grandchildren.
On Saturday, Petty, Brooks and Nunn all attended the funeral for 43-year-old Anreco D. Nichols, who was shot to death in June inside his West Chatham neighborhood home.
"(Brooks) was a decent guy, a good daddy, but he was in the wrong place at the wrong time," Petty said.
"We just left a funeral, and now I gotta go to another one."
Nine people were wounded in a mass shooting about 3:15 a.m. in the 3300 block of West Douglas in the Lawndale neighborhood on the Southwest Side, Sunday, June 11, 2017. With temperatures pushing into the 90s, a group of up to 50 people was gathered on the block, listening to music and drinking, when a black vehicle approached and someone inside opened fire. At least 30 shell casings could be seen in the street and on the sidewalk. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Maximiliano "Max" Arroyo, 24, was gunned down while walking to the bus stop with his girlfriend at 5:41 a.m. in the 4000 block of West Melrose in the Avondale neighborhood on the Northwest Side, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. A vehicle pulled up to the couple and someone inside asked if they had gang affiliations, then opened fire. Arroyo, a father of two boys younger than five, was shot in the back and died in the street. The girlfriend, who wept and hugged family members at the crime scene, was not injured.
"We didn't have a brother and he took care of us," said Julio Gomez, Arroyo's 19-year-old brother. "He took care of us, cooked for us, got us ready for school. He was a family man." | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Jesus Juarez, 43, was standing on the sidewalk shortly before midnight outside Express Grill at South Halsted and West 18th streets, when a male fired shots from a silver SUV, Tuesday, May 3, 2016. Juarez was shot in the chest and died at the scene. A 35-year-old man was shot in the left knee and taken to Stroger Hospital, where his condition was stabilized.
Tomislav Lazarevski, 24, whose father owns Express Grill, said he and another employee were inside the 24-hour, walk-up restaurant at the time of the shooting. He said the victims were in a small group that approached the window, but before they could order, the men started looking around.
"That's when shots were fired," Lazarevski said, adding that he heard five or six gunshots come from the passing vehicle. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
A woman reacts at the scene of a triple homicide in the 300 block of West 42nd Street in the Fuller Park neighborhood on the South Side, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. Ayanna Northern, 22, 25-year-old Antian Hardmon and 28-year-old Tyrone Spikes were all killed and two others, a 24-year-old woman and 30-year-old man, were injured when a gunman opened fire on a group of people at a barbecue. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Michael Holder, 34, was shot in the head and torso about 1:30 a.m. while he was standing in the street in the 1100 block of North Ridgeway, Tuesday, July 5, 2016. Two women Holder was talking to were also wounded in the shooting, police said at the time. Brandon Collins, 31, was eventually charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Officers responding to reports of a man down about 3:30 a.m. found 45-year-old Charles Irving Smith Jr. lying on the sidewalk with gunshot wounds to the head and right side in the 6400 block of South Maryland, Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
Nicole Gayfield, 36, arrived with her wife at the crime scene to find her uncle's body slumped against a fence outside the Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer in the Woodlawn neighborhood.
She said Smith spent the entire day before cooking soul food, eventually dropping off plates of the food at her house.
"He cooked for his whole building. He fed everybody," Gayfield said. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Brion Barlow, 31, was found lying on the ground, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds about 1:45 a.m. outside the Kennedy Fish & Chicken restaurant in the 2400 block of East 72nd Street in the South Shore neighborhood, Wednesday, March 30, 2016.
Shay Barlow, 32, Brion Barlow’s sister, said she woke up to a phone call and rushed to the crime scene.
“He was a very down to earth and sweet guy who would give the shirt off his back to help anyone,” she said. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Someone shot 28-year-old Christopher Hardrick multiple times while he was attending a vigil shortly after 2:30 a.m. in the 6600 block of South Oakley in the West Englewood neighborhood, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017. Several people at the crime scene were still wearing T-shirts from the vigil, reading, "Happy birthday Lolo RIH 9/2."
Hardrick's uncle, 54-year-old Anthony Hardrick, said his nephew was a nice, easy-going man, who "always had a smile on his face." They were "shooting the breeze" just two days before the homicide.
"He thought the people he was with tonight were his friends," Anthony Hardrick said of his nephew. "But there's nothing in these streets but violence. I would've told him to go home." | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times