*This is probably as hard to hear as it is for me to write. After all, how does anyone wrap their brain around a person not only dying on their birthday; but being killed. But that is what happened to Everick Lavon Coleman, who turned 43 on August 7th. Coleman was part of a group of folks who had the same birthday and 200 people showed up at a block party to celebrate.
The celebration was taking place in the 1300 block of West Hastings Street. But when partygoers heard a woman start screaming, “They’re going to shoot,” witnesses say people scattered.
One such witness, who would only identify herself as Pat, 36, said, “It was packed out here. I figured it was only a matter of time until something goes.”
The party started around 9 or 10 p.m. Pat stopped by for a while, but left when the crowd got too large for her liking.
At about 2:20 a.m., she looked outside and noticed that people in the crowd had started running.
“I wondered why,” she said. “And then the shots.”
According to a report obtained by the Chicago Tribune from the Cook County medical examiner’s office, Coleman, who was shot in the head and chest, was pronounced dead on the scene at 2:42 a.m.
With her son dead only two hours into his birth day, Ceola Coleman spoke to the press on Sunday by phone. “He had a good heart. He’d give you the world,” she told them, as she prepared to identify his body at the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
“It’s just hard to accept he’s gone, ” she added. “He had lots and lots of friends and treated people very well.” Coleman, who was divorced, was also a new grandfather and has a daughter in the U.S. Navy.
His autopsy is scheduled for Monday.
Coleman was not the only person shot (he is the only one who died). A woman was also shot and badly wounded, with gunshots to her back and arm. Though she is alive, she is in bad shape and still being cared for at Stroger Hospital. We wish her a full and speedy recovery.
Rest in peace, Everick Coleman. Our sincere condolences to you, Mrs. Coleman, and your family.
Pray for justice.