Father of 5 gunned down while watering lawn in Gage Park

- A 46-year-old man was shot to death Thursday morning in front of his home in the Southwest Side Gage Park neighborhood.

About 11:30 a.m., Abel Melesio was watering his lawn in the 5600 block of South Richmond when a black Cadillac SUV drove by and someone inside fired shots, according to authorities and community activist Andrew Holmes.

His family heard the gunfire and ran outside for find Melesio shot twice and lying in the grass, Holmes said. His daughter rode with him in the ambulance to Holy Cross Hospital.

Melesio was pronounced dead at 11:45 a.m., the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.

“They’re in shock, total shock,” Holmes said of Melesio’s family.

Melesio was the father of five children — the oldest is 28-year-old and the youngest is 15, Holmes said. The family can’t believe anyone would want to shoot him, and are asking any neighbors who have surveillance systems to provide video to police in hope of catching the shooter.

“They’re hoping someone captured something,” Holmes said.

Video surveillance helped bring charges against a 30-year-old man accused of shooting a 71-year-old man in what police said was an attempted robbery last year in the Marquette Park neighborhood. That man survived the shooting.

The killing of Melesio broke a streak of nearly 72 hours in the city without a fatal shooting. Before that, the last gun-related homicide occurred about noon on Monday in East Garfield Park.

Holmes asked anyone with information to call the Chicago Survivors tip line at 1800-883-5587 or Area Central detectives at 312-747-8380.

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