Local

Car crashes into garage after shooting, attempted robbery

Friday, April 26, 2013
A car crashed into a garage in the 11500-block of South Lowe, striking a van that was parked in front of the garage, police said.

The driver who crashed into a van and a garage after he was shot during an apparent robbery attempt on the South Side has died.

The 38-year-old victim, identified as Dionta West, was speeding away from a gunman when he plowed into the garage near 116th and Lowe Friday morning in Chicago's West Pullman community, friends and family say.

Police say West was shot twice in the chest. He was taken to Advocate Christ Hospital, where he later died.

West's relatives say police have arrested someone, but Chicago police have not confirmed that. Police will only say that detectives are working several leads.

West's fiancée, Shanda Barnes, says the incident happened early in the morning as West left for work.

"I'm laying there. I hear him get in the car...I heard the gunshots," said Barnes.

Police said West was getting into a 1991 Chevrolet Caprice outside his home in the 600-block of West 117th Street when a gunman approached and opened fire through the passenger side of the vehicle at about 5:48 a.m.

Investigators at the scene said at least one gunman shot West through the passenger side of his vehicle.

Although wounded, West tried to drive away from his attackers, going down an alley where he lost control near 116th, crashing into a parked van and a garage owned by the Wilburn family.

"We heard this real loud boom," said Nona Wilburn.

The shooting is one of several recent attacks in the area. At least 10 people have been shot since April 10 in a roughly one-square-mile area encompassing the Pullman and West Pullman neighborhoods.

West worked maintenance at several South Side elementary schools. He leaves behind two sons, ages 10 and 16, and an 18-year-old daughter who is pregnant with her first child.

"What are you getting out of killing someone? I don't know," said Barnes. "This is our loved one that we love."

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