Cause of death announced for Wicker Park man found unresponsive in bathtub on Christmas Day

CHICAGO — Just-released autopsy results from the Cook County medical examiner’s office reveal that the man found dead in a bathtub inside a Wicker Park apartment on Christmas Day drowned. But the office ruled his death a homicide, saying complications from a previous gunshot wound contributed to his death.

James Shaw, 38, was discovered unresponsive in a bathtub inside a second-floor apartment in the 1500 block of North Wicker Park Avenue around 4:30 p.m. on December 25, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Chicago police launched a death investigation. Ultimately, the medical examiner confirmed CPD’s initial suspicions that Shaw drowned. But Shaw once survived being shot in the head, and “complications” from that injury were a significant factor in his death, said the medical examiner. The office lists both drowning and gunshot injury complications as his primary cause of death.

Shaw was shot in the 1300 block of West Morse around 5 p.m. on May 2, 2009. He suffered life-altering injuries that were detailed in a 2019 federal lawsuit.

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