By Don Babwin
CHICAGO — An Arkansas man who police say got lost driving around the city was shot and killed early Thursday, apparently by a man he had just asked for directions.
According to police, a man identified by the Cook County Coroner's office as 55-year-old Robert Franklin, of Blytheville, Ark., was with a friend in a car about 3:45 a.m. when a man that Franklin had asked for directions climbed into the backseat and pulled out a gun.
Officer Jose Estrada said the gunman robbed the men of cash and "as he is getting out he turns around and shoots (Franklin) four times in the back."
Estrada said Franklin's friend drove him to Stroger Hospital, where Franklin was pronounced dead a short time after he arrived.
Police had made no arrests as of Thursday afternoon. Police had not identified the suspect or determined exactly where in the city the shooting occurred.
Chicago's violent crime has been the focus on national attention, particularly last year when the city led the nation in homicides with more than 500.
Police note that the vast majority of slayings and other violent crime in the city are related to street gangs. In most cases, police say, the gunmen typically know their victims or they are bystanders caught in gang crossfire. In one such case that was reported around the world, police say two gang members mistook teenager Hadiya Pendleton and her friends as members of a rival gang and opened fire, killing the 15-year-old honor student not far from President Barack Obama's home on the city's South Side.
But apparently random crimes are not unheard of in the city. A current criminal trial receiving extensive coverage focuses on a brutal baseball attack on two women who apparently were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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Copyright 2013 The Associated Press