CHICAGO (CBS) — Parishioners at St. Phillip Neri Church are mourning the death of a mentor and deacon.
Willie Cooper, 74, was found shot to death early this morning in the South Shore neighborhood.
Deacon Cooper was found in a vehicle with multiple gunshot wounds about 4:45 a.m. in the 7000 block of South East End Avenue, according to police news affairs.
Cooper worked at the Aries Bus Co., and was on his way to work, following his usual routine, according to his friend, Steve Herron.
He pulled up to pick up Herron, who also is Cooper’s co-worker.
That’s when Cooper was ambushed by a group of men and gunned down inside his car.
Herron told CBS 2’s Courtney Gousman that he was just about to walk out of his home and jump into the car when he heard gunshots.
In the most recent shooting, 74-year-old Willy Cooper, a deacon at St. Phillip Neri Church, was found fatally shot inside a vehicle in the 7000 block of South East End Avenue, CBS Chicago reports.
Tattooed across the throat of Mark A. Hall, one of two men accused of killing a deacon and a blues musician during botched robberies last December, is the phrase: “God 4 Gives I Don’t.”
On Sunday, it was Cook County Judge Adam Bourgeois’ turn to be unforgiving. With a dismissive nod, Bourgeois ordered Hall held without bail as he awaits trial. His co-defendant, Devin Aldridge, was ordered held without bond on Saturday.
Hall and Aldridge, both 23, were charged with two counts each of first-degree murder for the early morning killings of deacon Willie Cooper and musician Eric “Guitar” Davis on Dec. 19, 2013, in the South Shore neighborhood, authorities said.
Cooper and Davis were shot to death within 40 minutes just blocks from each other, Assistant State’s Attorney Luz Toledo said in court.
In both cases, the men were in their vehicles waiting to pick up a friend, prosecutors said. Each tried to speed away to avoid getting robbed by Aldridge and Hall, prosecutors alleged. Instead, they both died in a hail of 9 mm bullets that were traced to the same handgun, according to prosecutors.
Cooper, 74, was shot at 4:44 a.m. in the 7000 block of South East End Avenue. Davis, 41, was sitting in his vehicle in the 6700 block of South East End about 5:20 a.m. when he was shot, police said.
Davis, of the 14200 block of South Eggleston in Riverdale, and Cooper, of the 6800 block of South Crandon, were dead at the scene, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
Willie Cooper, 74, a retired CTA driver and deacon, was shot to death around 4:45 a.m., after he pulled up in the 7000 Block of South East End Avenue and was waiting to give a friend a ride to work.
Hall walked up to the drivers’ side. Aldridge walked up to the passengers’ side, and the two demanded money, Assistant State’s Attorney Luz Toledo said in court.
When Cooper began to drive away, Hall shot at him at least 10 times, striking him multiple times and killing him. The victims fled after Cooper crashed into a nearby fence and slumped over the wheel, Toledo said. Cooper suffered wounds to the shoulder, bicep, ear and elbow.
Around 5:20 a.m., in the 6700 block of South East End Avenue, the men approached Eric “Guitar” Davis, 43, who was also sitting in his parked car waiting to pick up a friend, when the men approached him on the driver’s side and demanded money.
When he tried to drive away, he was shot at multiple times and struck in the back, neck and his right inner palm, Toledo said in court. Davis was pronounced dead at the University of Chicago.