Two city workers killed, third injured in pair of weekend shootings

- Three City of Chicago workers were shot, two of them fatally, in two separate incidents over the weekend on the city’s South and West sides.

The second slaying was of 49-year-old Darnell L. Simmons, who was shot about 6:30 p.m. Sunday in the 300 block of North Central Avenue in Austin, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. Simmons, who lived in Austin, was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, where he was pronounced dead at 7:13 p.m.

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said at a press conference Monday that Simmons, a Department of Streets and Sanitation employee, was exiting a store when he was “unintentionally and fatally struck by nearby gunfire meant for someone else.”

And on Saturday, 32-year-old Terrell L. Jones and a 27-year-old man were traveling south in a Chevrolet Equinox at 10:33 p.m. in the 4900 block of South Ashland when two males got out of a dark-colored SUV and opened fire, authorities said. Jones was shot multiple times, while the other man suffered a graze wound to his hand.

Emergency crews responded after the men drove themselves to the Englewood District Chicago Police station at 1438 W. 63rd St., police said. They were both taken to Stroger Hospital, where Jones was pronounced dead at 11:15 p.m. and the other man’s condition was stabilized.

Johnson said Jones also worked for Streets and Sanitation, while the other man worked for the city’s Department of Transportation.

“I’d like to extend my heartfelt condolences to the Jones and Simmons families for their tragic loss,” Johnson said. “Regardless of the victim, these are the types of incidents that will keep all of us up at night, and I promise you we will do everything we can to bring these individuals responsible to justice.”

Johnson said both shootings remained “very active and open investigations” and that detectives were looking into “promising leads and plenty of video and ballistics evidence.”

Both Simmons and Jones were members of Laborers’ Local 1001, which represents city workers, according to a statement from the union.

“As residents of the City of Chicago we have all experienced the senseless violence of our City first hand but when it hits this close to home there are no words to express our outrage and pain for the senseless murder of both of these good family men,” the union wrote in the statement.

A representative for the streets and sanitation department did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday morning.

Andrew Holmes, a community activist working with the Jones’ family, said Jones worked in the streets and sanitation department’s Bureau of Forestry.

A representative for the bureau declined to comment Monday.

Holmes is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the fatal shooting.

Jones is survived by his family, including three young children, Holmes said.

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