An Illinois man was playing Pokémon Go with his 6-year-old daughter in a park in Evanston Thursday evening when he was shot and killed, his family said, adding that the young girl FaceTimed her family while running from gunfire shouting “Daddy’s shot.”
The child’s grandmother, who asked to remain anonymous because of the gunman or gunmen still being on the loose, had been exercising on the other side of the park when she heard gunshots, “but by the time we got there, they had shot my son, they shot at my granddaughter.”
“The police held me back and they were like, ‘You don’t want to see it,’ and I could tell by the paramedics’ faces that he wasn’t with us,” the victim’s mother said.
The man killed was a father of two daughters, a 10-year-old and a 6-year-old. He was about to start a new job next week as a manager at Culver’s, a job his family said he was “really excited” about.
“He was so happy when he left the house,” his brother said. “It’s heartbreaking, you know? My only brother, my big brother. I looked up to him so much.”
According to authorities, police were called around 9:06 p.m. Thursday to the 2100 block of North McCormick Boulevard for a report of shots being fired.
When officers arrived, they found a man lying on the ground near Eggleston Park, which is located along the North Shore Channel.
The man had been shot multiple times, and he was later pronounced dead.
The initial investigation indicated that the man had been involved in a confrontation with several other individuals, and shots were ultimately fired, authorities said.
Family members said they weren’t certain what the argument was about.
“[His daughter] said that there was a group of I guess teenagers or something like that and some words were said,” the child’s grandmother said. “She wasn’t exactly sure but she was able to give the police a lot of detail – what they looked like, what they were wearing, their outfits – your clothes, they have it all. The police have it all.”
Family members said gunshots were fired at the child too, though she escaped harm and called them in the moments after the shooting.
“She Facetimed us, ‘Daddy’s shot, Daddy’s shot. Please come help me, please come help me,’” her grandmother said. “And then to see her vomiting on the side of the police car dealing with this is horrible. No child should lose their parent this way and no mother should ever bury their child… for no reason. No reason at all.”
A major roadway in north suburban Evanston remained closed during the morning rush hour Friday as police continued to investigate the scene.
McCormick Boulevard was shut down “through morning rush hour” between Golf Road and Bridge Street, police said just after 4 a.m.
The suspects fled the scene on foot.
Police said at the time that while there was no “active shooter” situation, they still advised residents to remain indoors for several hours amid the search for the suspects.
As of Friday afternoon, no suspects were in custody, but police said preliminary information suggested there was “no continued danger to the public at large.” Residents who observe any suspicious behavior are urged to call police immediately at (847) 866-5040 or text 27463.
“He was a good father, he loved his daughters, you know?” the victim’s mother said. “They were everything and these people need to be caught. They’re out there right now and they need to be brought to justice for what they did to my son.”
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