Man dead after gunfire erupts in crowded playground

Belfield playground at 21st and Conlyn, murder scene where a man was shot at least 4 times on Monday. ( Steven M. Falk / Staff Photographer )

On one of the first warm days of the year, gunfire erupted at a crowded playground in the city's Logan section, leaving one man dead on the pavement.

Police said they received a call for a shooting on the playground at Belfield Recreation Center, at 21st and Conlyn streets, just after 5:30 p.m. When they arrived, they found the 43-year-old victim suffering at least two gunshot wounds to the neck, one to the face and one to the head, said Chief Inspector Scott Small.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:37 p.m. Small said several children, teens and young adults were on the playground at the time of the shooting, and at least one witness was taken to homicide to be interviewed.

Small said police found at least seven shell casings at the playground. He said it's a known drug location. There aren't any surveillance cameras in the area that cops know of.

Cops were still at the scene investigating as the sun dropped in the sky around 7 p.m., and wide-eyed neighbors watched the macabre scene unfold.

"It's crazy," a neighbor who did not want to be named said, shaking his head. "I care because I'm a father. I have four boys."

Family members of the victim, including his daughter, a cousin and an aunt, were at the scene and said he was a "family man" and a barber who worked all the time.