CHICAGO (CBS) — A 71-year-old man was shot and killed on a Chinatown sidewalk in broad daylight Tuesday.
As CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reported, police said the victim was just heading to the store to buy a newspaper when someone opened fire.
At 12:30 p.m., Woom Sing Tse was walking on the sidewalk in the 200 block of West 23rd Place, off Wentworth Avenue, when someone pulled up and shot the victim from a silver two-door car, according to police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
The gunman then got out of the car and shot Tse additional times before getting back in the car and driving away, police said. On Tuesday night, a blue car parked nearby remained at the scene with a bullet hole in its hood.
The crime scene is across the street from John C. Haines Elementary School. There were children inside the school at the time.
“When I heard the gunshots, the teacher told us to get down quickly and go on lockdown,” said one eighth grader from Haines Elementary. “We all did.”
The eighth grader spoke to us with her grandmother’s permission. She described the scene inside Haines Elementary during the shooting.
“The principal told us to turn the lights off, close the blinds, don’t say anything,” she said. “Some of my friends, I know, they were panicking. Others were crying. Some were texting their parents.”
Taylor Baird said he was sitting in his home with his wife and playing with his daughter when he heard what sounded like fireworks.
“They didn’t really stop. So I heard what I think was probably 10 or 11 shots and then probably two or three minutes later I heard sirens, and then I heard more sirens – and I came out and we are outside of a shooting, right outside my apartment,” Baird said.
Tse was rushed to Stroger Hospital of Cook County, where he was pronounced dead.
Police arrested the suspected gunman at Jackson Boulevard and the Kennedy Expressway. He was being questioned by Area Four detectives late Tuesday, and a weapon was also recovered.
Meanwhile, as CBS 2’s Jackie Kostek reported, members of a local church led a prayer walk Tuesday night in the wake of the shooting. They ended the walk by standing in a circle with candles lit at the scene.
“You just never expect it to happen to people that you know,” said Chris Javier, a deacon at Chinese Christian Union Church.
Javier said Tse’s daughters are former members of the church.
“For us, there’s a sense of shock,” he said. “There are people that we know, that are close to our church, who are related to the victim.”
There was a sense of shock and a desire to act – not just by blanketing the community with candlelight and prayer, but also by addressing public safety.
Police data analyzed by CBS 2 found that so far this year, seven people have been shot in Chinatown – including the man shot on Tuesday. By comparison, four people were shot in the same period last year.
Javier said beginning in late 2020, community members saw a rise in anti-Asian violence across the country – and elderly residents did not feel safe leaving their homes.
So the group installed home surveillance cameras for at least 20 neighbors.
Javier said the violence Tuesday only shows their work is unfinished.
“There’s a lot of work to do, but it’s necessary, and tonight’s proof of why it’s necessary,” he said.
Police sources tell us the suspected killer is in his 20s and has a criminal record, and they say the initial investigation shows the murder appears to be random.