Coast Guard member fatally shot on Memorial Day

May 29, 2012 3:56:17 PM PDT
A member of the U.S. Coast Guard was shot and killed on the city's South Side on Memorial Day.

Family members say Malcolm Dowdy, 33, was at the wrong place at the wrong time when he was hit by gunfire Monday night in the 1700-block of East 68th Street.

"I'm very distraught," said Michele Dowdy, mother. "I do not want to make the arrangements."

Dowdy's mother said her son -- her only child -- had second thoughts about being at the party. As he was leaving with friends, a gunman opened fire at the group, she said. Dowdy was killed and a 22-year-old man was injured with a gunshot wound to the back.

"I don't think the black male life expectancy goes past 25 now," she said. "He is 33. I thought I had got him past the hump."

Dowdy is a veteran of the Coast Guard, with four years on active duty and four years as a reservist. He was the assistant director of security at a Chicago company, a straight A student at DeVry University, and the father of a 1-year-old daughter with his fiancee, who is an Army reservist. They bought a house and were planning on getting married this year.

"Now my daughter doesn't have a father," said Joi Cornelious, Dowdy's fianc?e. "That was never the plan. I came from a two-parent household, so did he, and so will she."

"We need a mayor that's going to say enough is enough," said Denise Dixon, Corneilius' mother. "We need somebody that's going to take care of the community like they took care of the dignitaries and the foreigners that came here for NATO."

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Superintendent Garry McCarthy rolled out a new gang violence reduction plan Tuesday after a violent weekend where shootings injured 40 people and killed 10, including Dowdy.

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