October 10, 2012
Ontario trucker shot dead in Chicago
By Terry Davidson, QMI Agency
TORONTO - An Ontario truck driver has been shot dead while visiting a relative in a rough area of Chicago.
Gary Clarke, 39, of Courtice, Ont., east of Toronto, was found "unresponsive" in the cab of a white freight truck around 8:15 p.m. Tuesday after being shot in the thigh during a robbery attempt by three men, Chicago Police spokeswoman Laura Kubiak told QMI Agency on Wednesday.
Kubiak said the truck had been parked beside a house in Chicago's crime-ridden Englewood neighbourhood when Clarke was approached by the men. Officer Daniel O'Brien later told QMI Agency "a witness reported seeing three unknown male black subjects" fleeing the area.
Hal Baskin, a long-time community advocate in Englewood, said the large house at which the truck was parked beside is where Clarke's brother lives.
Charmonte Lee, the girlfriend of Clarke's brother, would only say "it's been hard" for the victim's family.
Baskin said that for Clarke, it was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time in a very bad part of Chicago.
"When the biggest employer in the area is the drug dealer, what do you expect?" Baskin said, explaining that Englewood is a magnet for criminals because of its lack of opportunities, education and "adequate police protection."
A woman only calling herself Julia returned a call to QMI Agency on behalf of her elderly parents, who live steps from the residence where Clarke's truck found with his body inside. While her parents declined comment, Julia said Englewood has been in an ever-tightening grip of crime for years and that Tuesday's shooting is "not out of the ordinary."
"It's a bad area," Julia said, claiming her parents didn't hear or see anything. "A lot of abandoned homes, quite a few vacant lots where homes have been torn down and never rebuilt ... There's a lot of crime, a lot of shootings. It's not something out of the ordinary."
Julia says she constantly worries about her parents' safety, but "they've lived here all their lives, so they're not moving."
Chicago Police's 7th District, which patrols Englewood, reportedly led the city in homicide investigations last year with 60.