"This is a close-knit neighborhood. Everyone's talking about it. It's scary. I hope they catch whoever is responsible for this," said Frank DiPiro, Jeri's Grill.
Investigators say the incident happened around 5 a.m. on Sunday. Police officers responded to a call to help the Chicago Fire Department after Ferris was found by a relative in the backyard of his home unresponsive with a gunshot wound to the face.
Family members began looking for the 73-year-old after he failed to show up at work.
"He is the most generous, wonderful man I have ever met," said Mike, an employee of the victim.
Neighbors say Ferris lived on the top floor of a three-flat for years and was considered a fixture in the community, often giving jobs and help to those who needed it.
While detectives working the case have initially called the attack an attempted robbery, some in the neighborhood say police ought to consider the possibility that Ferris's murder wasn't random because he had been the target of violence at least twice before.
"He walked in the station...with knife wounds last year that put him in the hospital, then someone hit him with a crowbar," said William Dickens, friend.
As Ferris' family makes funeral arrangements, police are still working on the case, but admit the the circumstances surrounding his murder are still unclear.