Eight parked police cars and two dead men -- the victims of Chicago's first double homicide of 2013 -- ringed the outside of Kevin's Hamburger Heaven in Bridgeport early Saturday morning.
The two bodies – one facing north, the other south – obstructed one end of a glass entryway on the outside of the 24-hour diner at Pershing Road and Wallace Street. Police used the other end.
Uniformed officers parked three cars in front of the bodies so that cameras could not film them – a maneuver that also prevented curious families from getting a good look at who they believed to be their relatives.
Someone here opened fire about 4 a.m. and killed a man and his roommate, according to police and one of the dead men's relatives. They are the 35th and 36th homicides of the year in the city.
One of the victims was identified Sunday by the Cook County medical examiner's office as Allen Smiley, 41, of the 8100 block of S. Burnham Avenue, in Chicago. The other victim was later identified as Peter Joseph, 34, also of the 8100 block of South Burnham, according to the office.
Another man had been shot and killed earlier Saturday morning on the West Side -- the 34th homicide of 2013.
A 47-year-old man escaped with a wound to the arm and was taken to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County in stable condition.
A man stuck inside the diner had called a cousin to say someone was shot. Family rushed to the scene. They all seemed to know who died but weren't sure, and one called a young officer to the yellow tape to ask what happened.
"There's two gentlemen there," he said, and then paused briefly. "They're DOA."
"Oh my lord," one relative yelled, and a couple others walked away from him.
The people asked police for their names. Pacing up and down Pershing and Wallace, craning their necks to see between the police cars meant to obstruct TV cameras, they weren't able to get a good look.
The officer said they hadn't been identified yet.
Across Wallace, red-eyed patrons of Dox Grill hunched over plates of hash browns and eggs at a bar while two men cooked and Linda Penna took orders and money and doled out food.
"I was standing here (at the register), taking someone's money," she said. "I swear, I didn't hear no bullets or nothing."
She saw one man drop. "Just like a blur," she said, adding that her first instinct was that he collapsed from a heart attack.
She then saw another man running east on Pershing. He may have jumped in a car, Penna said, but she couldn’t be sure.
Penna explained how the crowd at Dox Grill – a 50-year-old wood-paneled diner where she works three nights a week – occasionally consists of gangbangers whose worst behavior has been a fistfight.
But across the street, she said, they call the police a few times a week and have to retain a security guard.
The two restaurants draw different gangs.
"One side's one thing, one side's another, that's just how it is," she said.
Inside Kevin's, a large man wearing a black jacket with "SECURITY" spelled across his back in white letters sat on a stool with his left hand on his hip, right arm on the bar and back slightly hunched forward.
A detective walked up, leaned over the bar, looked at the security guard. The two exchanged words and the detective began to write.
Outside, a police officer took steps four at a time from the back of one car to the back of another, writing down license plates as he went.
Other employees sat inside sipping coffee while police surveyed the crime scene. A fluorescent "OPEN" light flashed in the window.
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