Community Seeks Answers in Chicago Shooting of Elderly Man Who Was Watering His Lawn
WLS(CHICAGO) — Community members are imploring the two men who robbed and shot a senior citizen while he was watering his lawn to come forward and turn themselves into authorities.
Frederico LaGuardia, 71, was shot in broad daylight in Chicago’s Marquette Park neighborhood on Sept. 6.
The incident was caught on a neighbor’s security camera, and it has drawn attention to the gun violence that has plagued Chicago this summer.
In the video, two men on bicycles rode past LaGuardia, then turned around and a confrontation ensued. Police say the suspects demanded LaGuardia’s wallet and then shot LaGuardia in the abdomen when he refused to give it to them.
LaGuardia remains at Mt. Sinai Hospital in fair condition. The investigation is ongoing, according to the Chicago Police Department. No suspects are in custody.
Lois Walker, who lives next door to LaGuardia, told ABC News today that she and LaGuardia have been neighbors for 28 years.
“We want them to give themselves up. We want them to say why they did that, but mainly we want them to give themselves up,” Walker pleaded of the two suspects who attacked LaGuardia.
“I went to the hospital last night, he is doing better, they were able to remove the bullet. He is talking. He is emotionally upset. He is saying, ‘I am a good person, I don’t do anything to anybody, why did they do this to me?’ And I want to know that too,” Walker added.
Walker described her neighbor as a “very nice, docile man.”
“He is very family-oriented. He loves to work on his yard, I love to work on my yard. We share flowers, we share food,” she said.
Andrew Holmes, a community activist working to stop gun violence in Chicago, put $1,000 of his own money into a reward fund for information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of both individuals. Holmes told ABC News today that the reward has doubled to $2,000 this afternoon after donations from the community.
Holmes, who lives five minutes away from Marquette Park, told ABC News that even though he did not know LaGuardia personally, he felt for his family.
“I didn’t know him at all. But I know he is human. That is someone’s father, grandfather, father and uncle,” Holmes said.
“We have been going door to door asking the public and residents for their help,” Holmes said of the work he and other community members are doing to catch the two suspects. “We are also trying to enhance the video footage so we can get better pictures.”
Community activists have been begging anyone with information on the case to go to authorities.
“They didn’t pedal their bikes from 87th Street all the way down here. They’re in the area. Someone knows something,” community activist Michael Airhart told local ABC-owned station WLS-TV.
Another local activist, Pete Keller, echoed Airhart’s remarks, telling WLS-TV, “Don’t be afraid. Stand up. We need our Chicago back, OK? We need Chicago back.”
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