Friday, May 23, 2008

Victim Of Uptown Shooting Was Dedicated Student

By Robert Mitchum, Tribune Reporter

Francis Oduro came to the United States to follow in his father's footsteps and take advantage of the country's educational opportunities to study engineering.

Oduro, 22, liked living in Chicago. But he was horrified by the violence he would see every night on the news, including gunplay that was unheard of in his native Ghana, his family said.

On Wednesday night, Oduro became a victim of that same violence, gunned down along the 4500 block of North Broadway as he walked to a CTA train stop from Truman College, where he had been taking classes for more than a year. Another man, a suspected gang member who police said may have been the target of the shooting, was critically injured.
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  1. What a wake up call this should be for us.... ALL of us.

  2. This story is based on what he told his father. Not what he really was doing.

    Whatever brings attention to these problems is fine with me though.

    Still no comment yet from the Alderman.

  3. Exactly, this will bring some attention here though.

  4. There all boy scouts

  5. I hope those who yesterday called this guy an 'armed gang banger' are disappointed with themselves this morning.

  6. What happened to the report that they were BOTH armed? Was that ever confirmed?

  7. I am willing to give a dead person the benefit of the doubt. More details (if there are any) about his connection to the other man who was shot will emerge in time.

    "He was always scared because of all the shootings and killings," says his father in the Tribune. This story reminds me of the death of Amadou Cisse, a graduate student at the University of Chicago who was gunned down coming home late in the evening back in November. That case was one of either being in the wrong place at the wrong time or of mistaken identity. Amadou had just defended his dissertation that week. Very sad. His parents said the same think about not understanding gun violence on our streets.

    It is time for the College, the City and others in the local community to stop pretending that the violence doesn't exist. It is high time to start doing something about it.

  8. This is an absolute tragedy. An innocent bystander has finally been caught in the crossfire. We all knew this would happen. It's time for our public officials to do something about it. We need a statement of some sort from Shiller. WTF, how could this happen? My thoughts are with the family of hte victim. Isn't it sad that the gang bangers are always in critical condition and end up living while the innocent people die.

  9. I hate to say it, but unless the innocent bystander is white and/or a child... it won't get as much attention as it deserves to get.

  10. Any thought of posting crosses as memorials where people get killed. It will be a daily reminder of what is happening or ironically is this against the law?

  11. 8:38-
    no, it was never confirmed because it was just some yahoo on this board making the claim that the guy who died was armed. total BS

  12. 8:52: Then it is our job to make sure that doesn't happen! Is there anyone with a PD connection who could vet this story that he had a gun on him as well? Or, is "innocent bystander" the final word from the PD?

  13. This angers me more than any other crime I've seen in Uptown over the past five years... This guy was just trying to make a better life for himself, and he was senselessly gunned down. We need armed vigilantes to crack some @##@#% skulls in this neighborhood! The thugs will pay for this!

  14. I agree with the vigilante part. Isn't Christian Bale shooting a movie in Uptown? I wonder if he could put on his Batman costume and prowl the streets of Uptown looking for bad guys.

  15. 8:52-
    where did it ever say he was armed besides the comment section on this blog?

    the first reports in the paper said the cops thought he was an innocnet bystander because of his leather sandals, name, etc. lead them to think he wasn't a local gang banger.

  16. Anyone know what grocery store he worked at?

  17. I'm not sure if it was here or UCB, but I just remembering initial reports that both victims were armed.

  18. what about all the people saying he was a gangbanger from the southside coming up to sell drugs? nice assumption....

  19. it is an assumption, but not an unreasonable one. Aren't most victims of gang violence other gang members? YES, these people did jump to conclusions, but I don't think that taking your anger out on them is constructive. We are all mad as hell, but we have to stick together and not let these things put wedges between us.

  20. I thought about this last night.

    At Tuesday's CAPS meeting, a woman said the police met their arrest quotas by stopping males from low-income housing and making the automatic assumption they're gangbangers.

    Well, in this case, someone was murdered on our streets by gangbangers. From all appearances, the young man wasn't involved with gangs at all. But it was a case of mistaken identity.

    So really, who makes the worse assumptions? Who profiles young men walking our streets? The cops? Or the gangbangers who murder them, "assuming" they're gangbangers?

  21. 9:19, I'm not taking out any anger, I am just saying that it's amazing how quickly that conclusion was jumped to. It is an interesting reveal on people's internal biases, and of the commentors on this blog who went right along with the statement that he was a gangbanger.

  22. "it is an assumption, but not an unreasonable one. Aren't most victims of gang violence other gang members?"

    Um, no.

  23. There is no press release or anything on the Truman website. (There is, however, an announcement of the new student center.)

  24. "Who profiles young men walking our streets? The cops? Or the gangbangers who murder them, "assuming" they're gangbangers?"

    How about both? If the cops stop someone because they assume their a gangbanger because of color, clothing, etc., that's profiling. And I'd venture to say that gangbangers do less profiling. If anything, they're mostly lousy shots who kill people who just happen to be walking by. They aren't targeting or "profiling" them.

  25. 9:22: Stop with the "reveal of internal biases" stuff. At the point that people were making those comments (and others INCLUDING YOU were not challenging them), people on the scene seemed to think that both victims had guns and that it was related to the gang activity at different locations throughout the area that night. Some people chose to post their sentiments right away and others chose to reserve their comments until most details came out. Big deal. Is it usually better for people to reserve their comments until all the facts come out---absolutely. This chain of events should be a reminder for people to not jump to conclusions so quickly and nothing more.

  26. But didn't the killers in this case walk right up to the two victims on the street and point-blank shoot them multiple times?

  27. yes, 9:22... if you aren't expression anger, you're expressing your fear - a fear that we all have. We all have internal biases to some extent, but pointing out the biases of those who are on your side and want the same thing you do (a safe community) is not helpful right now.

  28. Sure, people made some assumptions. But this could have been anyone. It wasn't a case of mistaken identity. It was an innocent bystander walking from night classes at Truman College to the "El". If you live in Uptown, it could be YOU in this position in the future. It's time to GET MAD, and to FORCE these thugs out of the neighborhood. And it's time to get rid of Helen Shiller once and for all (in the next 2011 election, of course).

  29. 9:23... please cite this report of Violent Street Gangs of America at:

    Their findings were that only 14.4 percent were murders of non-gang victims by a gang member.

  30. It sounds like Francis Oduro was part of the unlucky 14%.

  31. I thought the reports from the police blotter was that 2 men walked up to 2 men, shot them and then ran away.

  32. Amadou Cisse wasnot a known gangbanger but was known to frequently be in the company of drugdealers and gangmembers. The officers who had to notify his oarents did not see any reason explaining that to them.

    Basically R.I.P.

    They where approached from behind and shot execution style. Multiple shots after they fell to the ground. Wasnt an innocent bystander. If this helps Uptown get more press and something done. So be it, then what an innocent person he was!!

    Dont be naive, like all parents are.

  33. "Amadou Cisse wasnot a known gangbanger but was known to frequently be in the company of drugdealers and gangmembers."

    By who? Where are you getting your info?

  34. It is sad walking where the incident took place. You can still see the outline of a pool of blood. Not a good cleaning job by the city. Maybe that will be reminder to everyone.

  35. "Amadou Cisse was not a known gangbanger but was known to frequently be in the company of drugdealers and gangmembers."

    Before we plan something related to this murder (and murder on our streets is still unacceptable no matter who the victim was) we really need to know what really happened. Some of the reports don't mesh. If this was truly an innocent bystander thing, why were they both shot point-blank by 2 assailants? If there is any parallel to Amadou Cisse as this anonymous poster suggest, then there is something more complex going on that means we all need to better understand how it is that certain "good students" might get end up having a greater than average chance of being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

    I think we need a community meeting/press conference from our district commander to discuss the facts of the case before we do something.

  36. Here is the response that I received from my letter to Heather Steans about doing something about the gang violence:

    "I will want to look into this before responding. Definitely I want to attend the next appropriate beat meeting as well. We'll talk before we prep a response. Thanks,

  37. And here is the response from Rep. Greg Harris:

    Thanks for the email. I've read the news stories about some of these occurrences while I've been in Springfield, and Brian Curtin from my office has been actively reading the blogs and telling me about the other things going on. When I'm back in Chicago this morning, the first thing I'm going to do is talk to Ald. Shiller and Commander Boehmer about the seriousness of this situation, and what the response is going to be to this violence. Some of your neighbors have asked that I come to the CAPS meeting on June 3 to hear what the plan is to deal with these issues. I'll definitely be there, and will work with you and other community members to be sure that we're getting an adequate response and decide what our next steps should be. Its just not acceptable that we should live in fear in our own neighborhood.

    Rep. Greg Harris
    13th District

  38. The guy apparently was on his way home from his job at Walgreens. Don't know a lot of gangbangers who work at Walgreens.

    College student shot to death

    UPTOWN | Ghana native apparently a bystander in gang battle

    May 23, 2008 (Chicago Sun-Times)

    BY LISA DONOVAN Staff Reporter

    During his first weeks in this country, Francis Oduro Jr. went to the Truman College campus on the North Side to enroll in classes.

    It was the beginning of a dream for Oduro, 22, who had completed high school in his native Ghana in West Africa and was ready to begin studies in civil engineering and plan his new life, family said.

    But on Wednesday night, Oduro was shot to death, an apparent innocent bystander in a gang-related shooting near Truman College.

    At the family's South Side home on Thursday night, his father, Francis Oduro Sr., said his son had gone to campus earlier Wednesday to register for summer classes. Another relative thinks Oduro then worked a shift at an Uptown Walgreens and was heading to the Red Line L stop at Wilson -- bound for home --when he shot.

    According to police reports, shots rang out about 9:15 p.m. Wednesday near Broadway and Wilson.

    Two men, including Oduro, were hit. Oduro died at the scene, and the other man, whose identity wasn't released Thursday, was seriously wounded and taken to a local hospital.

    Police were seeking a white Subaru Forester that two suspects fled in.

    The case is reminiscent of last year's fatal shooting of University of Chicago graduate student Amadou Cisse, 29, of Senegal. He was gunned down while walking home from campus.

    His eyes red from tears and no sleep, Francis Oduro Sr. recalled the joy of bringing his son to live with him in December 2006. He said his son had grown to be a wonderful man -- steadfast in his Roman Catholic faith -- and an easygoing guy who still loved soccer, which he grew up playing.

    But he said his son was troubled by Chicago's violence and talked about his fears. He had even spoken of moving to a safer city after finishing his studies here, his father said.

    "I feel I made a mistake bringing him here. A year and half after he arrives, and now . . . gone."

  39. "They where approached from behind and shot execution style. Multiple shots after they fell to the ground. Wasnt an innocent bystander."

    We need the final word from the CPD. You've got the papers telling the innocent bystander story and the crime scene facts that seem to support a different interpretation although the innocent bystander thing is possible. What is the truth?

  40. "Some of the reports don't mesh. If this was truly an innocent bystander thing, why were they both shot point-blank by 2 assailants?"

    Mistaken identity? A desire to eliminate direct witnesses who make the mistake of looking them right in the eye? Any number of reason could given as to why a supposed innocent bystander was shot. There's not a lot of logic in gang shooting.

  41. Any of you folks ever here of the concept of "mistaken identity". Perhaps the shooters thought Francis Oduro was a rival banger.

    Perhaps they are not good shots. As someone who carried a handgun in the military I can tell you it isn't easy to shoot accurately beyond a very short distance. This isn't like John Wayne in "Rooster Cogburn" firing while riding a horse and only having one eye.

    Until I hear differently from a valid source, not anonymous posters here who pull stuff out of their asses apparently, I'm going to assume he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    There are African immigrants who are members of gangs. Just not many. If you want to talk "profile" I'll give you a profile of a young man like that. Goes to school, works hard, studies during breaks at work etc. If you pay attention you will see thousands of guys like that throughout the city.

    I've been known to walk down Broadway at night. If I got shot would you be speculating that my pale, middle aged corpse had been prowling for drugs or that I had been a member of the Insane Wombat Gangsta Killa Unknown Tiny Dicked Assassin Defenders?

    "Hey, psssst, I heard from a source that the deceased was using drugs."

    You would be right. Propecia for my hairline and Cialis for my LUUUUV life.

  42. it seems like the gunmen would be able to tell the difference between two people walking together and two people walking near each other... if they didn't know each other they probably wouldn't have been walking side by side. I tend to believe he was an innocent person in the wrong place at the wrong time as well, but something is fishy.

  43. Actually, if you were shot in a particular location at a strange hour, people would probably jump to the conclusion that you were looking for drugs until more word came out. People jump to conclusions all the time. The point is to recognize that regular people fall into this trap all the time, no one is immune and to admit your mistakes when you have been proven wrong. IMHO there is only a problem when some people think they are immune from this all-too-human fallacy. We all do it.

  44. Irish Pirate, you are my new hero...

  45. Anon 11:38.

    Who said they were walking "side by side"? Again, don't mistake the speculation you read here, from people who I am 99.977 percent sure were not there at the time, that they were together. I pass by people on the street all the time and at any given moment, as I pass them by, one could assume I was walking with them. All of these armchair detectives need to lay off the "Law and Order" and "CSI" for a while...

  46. The Stop. Killing. People. poster on this blog post made me think that O.N.E. has been very silent. Why haven't we heard a peep from them? They seem to be there minutes after a shooting just about anywhere else in the city. O.N.E. runs this Stop. Killing. People. program and their office is in the 1207 Leland Building

  47. Why? Because if they acknowledge that an innocent Truman student was gunned down at 9:15 in the evening, it says that there IS gun violence in our community. But what do you do when you have an alderman's office that is telling people it is better than it once was and the only truly safe place is heaven? It is a tangled web they wove. How can the area be better when this is the first time a Truman student has been murdered? The facts just don't support any "unfortunate isolated incident" kind of story.

    IMHO, let them play their political games with this young man's blood. It will be interesting to see how they will manage to turn their "do nothingness" into being as outraged as everyone else rightfully is.

  48. Altheperson says:

    The police don't know what they are doing. They don't know gang bangers from a can of corn....They are naive, and they stop people like me all the time and go through pockets because it's safe to bother people who are harmless...

    Iv'e told the police that they don't know what they are doing..that they are bothering the wrong people....I think a lot of police actually live or grew up in the suburbs....

    I would never stop a person like me in the street...or like the people I see them stopping...I've seen a female police officer frisk 3 12, year old black girls who were doing nothing for no reason...I confronted the police and they claimed that the three girls "committed a crime Yesterday"...and then proceeded to tell me to fuck off and get the hell outa here...

    The police are absolutely abusive and stupid to boot.

    They come to the scene of a crime....AFTER the crime has been committed...they do not prevent crime...they mop up the debris after the crime has been committed....

    They are putting people in jail for carrying joints....

    The life of a police person is a myth...they rarely fire the weapons more than once in a career and sit in their cars doing nothing most of the day....the worst people are the plain clothes detectives..

    Many police are using illegal's obvious from the size of their necks....this has I would imagine very bad effect on their psyche.

    I don't see much difference between the police and the criminals they pretend to arrest...

    The police are scary and so are the criminals

  49. Anonymous 2:30,

    I dunno if you are purposefully trying to be funny or not, but you certainly are.

    It's just horrible how the police don't have the ability to see the future so they can sit at one particular location and stop the future crime from happening.

    You are right that most cops never fire their weapon in the line of duty. If more did you would be complaining about it. "Damn steroid infested, thick necked, suburban cops are killing my people for no reason."

    As for your comment on 12 year old girls unfortunately SOME 12 year old girls are a threat.

    The reason the police stop and frisk blacks and hispanics more is because generally there is more crime in neighborhoods those folks live in. The cops also generally search males more than females. Why? Males are more likely to be involved in street crime.

    If the City Police were empowered to stop political crime in this city I would suggest they travel to City Hall and arrest the verbally talented leprechaun in charge known as Daley the younger. Then move on to the alderbeasts who come in many different ethnicities and religions.

    Also generally the Chicago Police don't arrest people for "joints". It is now often dealt with as a "municipal infraction" like a parking or littering ticket. Often cops will just ignore it or toss it down a sewer. As a kid I can recall cops emptying lovely cans of beer down a sewer.

    If you want to make any more stupid comments please feel free. I'm going biking now and will be back later. Thus endeth the lesson.

  50. why are gangbangers such bad shots? They always seem to shoot innocent people when they are aiming at their fellow thugs. Its pathetic when totally innocent people are hurt because gang members cant shoot each other correctly. I wish that old lady Shiller would get some cops and a camera installed in that area.

  51. This child will be mourned by his parents, his family and his friends for the rest of their lives. Seems to me the least we can do--before we make it political or point to any elected official, any police officer, or any neighborhood organization---is give a moment to consider the universe lost when this boy died.

  52. The city needs to start some target practice programs so gangbangers can hit their intended targets instead of hitting innocent bystanders. They need to remember to "Squeeze the trigger...don't pull it."

  53. The personal is political. This young man shouldn't have had to die but it is not as if this community was not literally ringing & crying for help on that night and beforehand. Our government is choosing to ignore the issue and maybe, just maybe, if gun violence were taken more seriously around here this young man would be sitting in a summer school class next month.

  54. I wonder how Ald. Helen Shiller feels having this student gunned down on her office door step? Will she dare make the same statement her Chief of Staff Denise Davis made last week, "There is crime everywhere except in heaven."

    He's is there now. Is that the only way our Alderman intends to make young men safe in this neighborhood?

  55. I feel so bad for this boy's family. I hope his ghost haunts her office until she acknowledges his senseless death. While it's silly to blame her for it really, her lack of a response is shameful.

  56. Has anyone realized that this is the second Truman College student murdered in a shooting in the past 6 months?

    18-year old Truman College Student Issac Pink was murdered by a shot from behind on the block of his home block at 10146 S Ogelsby in November 2007. He was shot by 17-year old Charlie McDonald of 9700 S Yates Blvd. who was arrested in January 2008.

    Francis Oduro, the Truman College student who was murdered this week at 4547 N Broadway, lived just 6 blocks from Charlie McDonald, Issac Pink's killer.

  57. Why isn't O.N.E. out there doing something against crime? For the same reason they don't plant trees or participate in Clean and Green days.

    They aren't a community group, they just pose as one to further their activist causes.

  58. Oduro worked at Walgreens.

    Now, check out the Channel 7 news video online.

    Never missing an opportunity to plop an ad in front of a viewer's face, Channel 7 has imbedded a web-only Walgreen's ad that you can't bypass as the lead in to the video from their evening news story of his death.

    Tacky, Tacky, Tacky, and Disrespectful and Un-informed too.
    That is definately taking advertising too far.

    Show some respect !!!

  59. That same Channel 7 video mentions that counseling will be available to Truman Students.

    Hey, what about us who live here 24 hours-a-day and call this home?

  60. The Blood is still on the sidewalk....

    Everyone says this is a "gang" banger killing.

    How does anyone know that?
    Altheperson says

    Sometimes these guys just decide to kill somebody for the thrill...

    Oduro being a student and from Ghana was almost certainly not a "gang banger" by any stretch.

    People from Ghana are generally most other people in the world more CIVIL than americans....if they aren't involved in some American inspired or supported civil war that is

  61. Read the news. Two people were shot walking down 4547 Broadway near each other. Odura died. The other guy is in the hospital.

    The other guy is a gangbanger a police believe him to be the intended victim of the shooting.