Neighbors worry as Napoleon Gilmore falls to gunfire
06/09/2010 10:00 PM
Twenty-three-year old Napoleon Gilmore was shot and killed on the Near West Side last week, apparently during a dice game gone awry.
A Chicago Police Department spokesman said officers found Gilmore unresponsive in the 1300 block of W. Washburne with a single shot in his chest June 3 at approximately 2 p.m.
Detectives have opened up an investigation, but no suspects are in custody.
A day after the shooting, neighbors and friends had erected a small memorial to Gilmore in the courtyard between rehabilitated ABLA public housing units, near where several said the incident took place.
Goodbyes and rest-in-peace wishes to “Po” or “Poppa,” as Gilmore was called in the neighborhood, were written across poster boards and surrounded by balloons, stuffed animals and empty bottles.
“He was a straightforward guy,” said Jatuan Robinson, 24, who met Gilmore when she was 11 or 12. “If you wanted the truth, ask him.”
Dwaon Williams, who will be a high school senior this fall, recalled Gilmore’s participation in a dance troupe. Gilmore was “a motivator,” according to Williams. “He always would put something in a person’s head.”
The shooting has been met with anxiety about gunplay and violence in the area. It comes on the heels of an April 30 shooting in the 1300 block of W. Hastings which resulted in the death of 23-year-old Curtis Green.
“Every other week I’m hearing about a young guy getting shot,” said Tawanda Wright, who is renting a unit in a new-construction Roosevelt Square building about a block east of where Gilmore was killed.
She explained she moved to the area from the Southwest Side because of its proximity to the Loop, where she works. But now Wright is second guessing that decision.
Wright been forced to take precautions with her teenage son. She said he’s been the victim of a robbery attempt, as offenders tried to take his iPod and cell phone from him.
“He’s inside,” she said of her son. “Usually when he’s out, he’s not around here.”