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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Street vendor shot in Little Village


    Alicia Alarcon, who for years has sold sweet corn on the cob from a cart in Little Village, heard the gunshots and felt a sharp pain in her back.

    The 56-year-old looked and saw she was bleeding, the victim of a Friday night shooting that police are still investigating. Alarcon was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicagowhere doctors removed a bullet that was lodged near her liver.

    Recovering at her home Saturday, Alarcon said doctors told her she was lucky.

    “”If the bullet had hit an organ, I would be really sick and would probably not be able to walk,”” she said.

    For years, she has sold her elotes — corn smeared in mayonnaise, lemon juice or chili powder — near 26th Street and South Sawyer Avenue, the scene of the shooting. She started the business after losing her job at a factory shortly after she moved here from Veracruz, Mexico, in 1999.

    “”I have to do it to survive,”” Alarcon said. “”I have bills, the rent, you know.””

    Alarcon also sends money to Mexico to help pay her husband’s medical bills after a prostate operation.

    Officer Robert Perez, a Chicago police spokesman, said that at 10:27 p.m. Friday, Alarcon was standing at her cart on the sidewalk at the corner of 26th and Sawyer. He said she had just sold something to a customer when she heard two gunshots.

    Alarcon said she heard the gunfire coming from two directions.

    Police had no one in custody Saturday.

    Through the years, Alarcon said she has seen a fair share of problems in her neighborhood. She sees the drunks and teens in gangs nearby. Some even buy corn from her.

    As she recuperates, Alarcon must now decide whether she’ll return to her usual corner.

    Family members, she said, “”are very scared. Very scared.””

    But, she said, “”I’m still thinking about it.””

    Tribune reporters Antonio Olivo and Liam Ford contributed.

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