Businessman Shot Dead in His Home

Melvin Burnside owned Reese's Lounge on Chicago's South Side

By Anthony Ponce and Alex Perez
|  Thursday, Oct 21, 2010  |  Updated 2:33 PM CDT
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<a title=Melvin Burnside had in the past owned a deli and cleaning service, but was recently involved with Reese's Lounge, at West 87th and South Honore streets." />

Melvin Burnside had in the past owned a deli and cleaning service, but was recently involved with Reese's Lounge, at West 87th and South Honore streets.

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Riverdale police on Thursday released a sketch of the man they believe shot and killed an area businessman in the early morning hours.

Melvin Burnside, 51, was pronounced dead at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey at 3:20 a.m.after being shot at his home in the 14000 block of South Clark Street, in Riverdale.

"He was just a good guy," said Burnside's brother, Maurice Burnside.  "He was the definition of a good guy."

Burnside's daughter told the Chicago Tribune that her father was active in the community.

"He did charitable work. A few months ago he held a fundraiser for scholarships for students going to college," she said. "That's just how he was. He was nice like that," said Yvette Burnside.

Melvin Burnside had in the past owned a deli and cleaning service, but was recently involved with Reese's Lounge, at West 87th and South Honore streets.

"We have certainly lost a terrific colleague, friend, and a public servant always finding time to donate his time to local community empowerment and civic activities," said former lounge owner and promoter Mark Allen via e-mail.

Neighbors on the block said they fear the shooting was a random attack.

"If it's something internal, then that stays there.  But what if it's an epidemic?  Then I have to worry.  I have four daughters and it scares the mess out of me," said Lester Washington, who lives right across the street.

In releasing the sketch, police said they're looking for a black man between the ages of 18 and 27.

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