Summer Ann Moore’s conversation about plans for a Mother’s Day barbecue was interrupted Friday night by gunfire that caught the 37-year-old as she tried to run for shelter and left her dead on the front lawn of a Far South Side home.
Moore, who her family said was a mother of three who recently had gone back to school to get a medical technician degree, had come to the Morgan Park neighborhood that night for a family gathering at an aunt’s home before sending her cousin off to the prom.
Minutes later the shooting started.
“She fell and I just held her hand and I told her to keep fighting,”’ said her cousin, Yolanda Moore, who was standing next to her when they heard shots ring out from down the block.
“It’s unreal. We were talking about what we were going to do for Mother’s Day 10 minutes before this. We noticed the shots coming from the corner. She must have caught a stray bullet.”
The victim was on the front lawn of a home in the 11400 block of South Aberdeen Street, speaking with a group of people. About 7:50 p.m., the shooting began and Summer Moore began running before falling down a short distance away, said Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro.
Yolanda Moore, of south suburban Dolton, said she, Summer, and about 20 other family members were cleaning up after an outdoor party for a female cousin who had just graduated from a high school in the Roseland neighborhood. The group talked, took pictures in the yard and chatted with the family of the cousin’s date. About 20 minutes later, Moore said, gunshots were fired from the corner and people tried to take cover.
“She (Summer Moore) was with the crowd but she must have gotten shot and didn’t know it,” Yolanda Moore said. “She just collapsed in the yard. I was right there, standing next to her. She fell down and I kneeled down next to her to help her up … When I touched her she wasn’t responding.”
Summer, of the 3100 block of West Marquette Avenue in the Marquette Park neighborhood on the Southwest Side, was pronounced dead at 8:38 p.m. at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
Summer, a graduate of Tilden Career Academy, was a full-time student at Malcolm X College, was not married and had three children, a 20-year-old son, and two daughters, 18 and 15, who lived with her, Yolanda Moore said.
She had finished her prerequisites and her first semester at Malcolm X and was going to begin more courses in September. Yolanda said Summer worked for the Chicago Tribune about a year and a half ago after being placed there through a temporary agency.
Yolanda Moore said Summer didn’t have any special plans for Mother’s Day and wanted to keep things “low key” because she lost her own mother when she was about 7 to a blood clot. Only minutes before the attack, they were having fun discussing a barbecue at Yolanda’s house to celebrate. Summer, who didn’t like cooking much, could always be counted on bringing two things to family parties: “Pop and water. ‘That’s my dish – pop and water,’ ” Yolanda Moore said, laughing, recalling what Summer would often say.
Yolanda said her mother and Summer’s mother are sisters and Yolanda’s mom took on the responsibility of raising Summer after her mother’s death.
“Summer was a very loving person with a heart of gold and that’s what everyone will remember about her,” said Yolanda.
Yolanda Moore said she had no idea who the shooter was or why they were shooting. Police told them no one had been arrested.
Police News Affairs Officer Janel Sedevic, citing preliminary information, said she was not the intended target.
Area South detectives were investigating, police said.
“We kind of knew it wasn’t really safe in that area but it was daylight. We were packing up. Recently there had been crime over in that area,” said Yolanda.
“It’s very sad,” she said. “We are such a close-knit family. We all grew up seeing each other three or four time a week.
“It was family event. We were all there to watch her go to prom. It was a happy day. But it didn’t end that way.”