Joshua Hudgins, 34, had worked at Alice's Barbeque on the city's Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side for more than 10 years. He was taking a break when he was shot at 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Gregory Johnson, the owner of Alice's Barbeque, said that Hudgins is "irreplaceable."
"I had promised his daddy that I would take care of him when his father died," Johnson said. "He's just like a son to me. Outside of that, he was one of my top cooks," Johnson said.
"You couldn't beat him. He was one of the sweetest people you ever want to know. He would help you if he could and always have a pleasant word for you," customer Henry Ramsey said.
Ramsey saw Hudgins last night during the cook's cigarette break during. Still wearing his apron, the 34-year-old was chatting with people in front of the restaurant when a silver or grey car drove by and shots rang out. A bullet hit Hudgins in the chest, killing him. Ramsey had just moved away from Hudgins.
"In a matter of seconds after I sat down, a car appeared from someplace -- where, I really don't know -- and shots rang out. I laid down on the ground and when I looked back this way, he was laying on the ground," Ramsey said.
Investigators believe the target may have been someone with whom Hudgins was speaking. Police are reviewing surveillance photo captured by cameras outside Alice's Barbeque.
Hudgins is the single father of three. He is survived by several brothers and sisters.
"You just have to bear with it, you know. This is our living so you can't just walk away," Johnson said.