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South Side Shoot `Em Up
April 21, 2009 - Joe Gorman
When YPD Detective Sgt. Ron Rodway says something is the worst he's seen, you should sit up and take notice.
Twenty four years on the force, including several years as a homicde detective investigating some of the city's grisliest murders, makes him a theory on such matters. So when he said during an impromptu press conference Tuesday that a home on Cleveland Street that was peppered with between 40 and 50 rounds from an automatic assault rifle Tuesday morning was in bad shape, I tended to believe him.
The bullet holes are easy to see from the outside, but Rodway said it is inside where the damage from the devastating 7.62 mm rounds fired by an AK-47 or its Chinese duplicate, an SKS, are most apparent.
There are holes and chunks of plaster everywhere, he said, and two women who were retrieving belongings in a makeshift convoy early Tuesday afternoon said the damage inside makes the home unfit to live in -- never mind the police report that says there is dog feces covering the floor, no stove, very little food and holes in the ceiling -- all this before the home was shot up.
Rodway said it was ``by the grace of God' no one in the neighborhood was hurt, and he's probably right. Since the home is nestled between two of the biggest churches on the South Side -- at opposite corners are St. Patrick's and Mount Bethel Baptist Church -- I would not be surprised if the All Mighty had his angels watching over the neighborhood.
The neighborhood appeared quiet in Tuesday's sunshine, although except for the guys dressed in Bloods colors, no one was around except the mailman. I rang the bell twice at the home next door, and could hear noises inside, but no one answered.
Perhaps they were still collecting their wits. But anyone who would spray a home with 50 rounds in a dispute over a chair is capable of far worse. Hopefully they will be caught soon. Not everybody's home is between two churches.
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