Brookfield man fatally shot hours after testifying in criminal case

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Michael Smith, 33, was gunned down in front of his home just hours after apparently testifying in a criminal case. (WLS)

A west suburban man was gunned down in front of his home just hours after apparently testifying in a criminal case.

The victim worked for a company that provides security guards for venues and events. Now, police are investigating whether someone may have had it out for him.

There is a growing memorial in honor of 33-year-old Michael Smith on the quiet block where he was fatally shot. He leaves behind a wife and young son.

"A real family person," said Duane Carlson, the victim's neighbor. "Kind of quiet, but he was always out with his kid. He was a good father."

Police say Smith was sitting in his car in front of his home around noon on Wednesday when another vehicle pulled up and someone inside opened fire.

"I heard this pop, pop, pop. I saw his wife out in the car, not in the car, but she was standing by the car," said Debbie Carlson, another neighbor. "She was just looking in the car, and she was yelling 'Mike! Mike!'"

After a two-day search, police say they recovered the shooter's vehicle: a blue, newer-model hatchback.

"We have no one in custody at this time but, I can tell you our investigators are pursuing new leads actively as a result of locating that vehicle," Brookfield Police Chief James Episcopo said.

A motive for the shooting is unclear but investigators are looking into reports that Smith, who worked for a security firm, testified in a criminal case the morning of the shooting.

His murder is galvanizing residents who have donated thousands online. And at a restaurant in downtown Brookfield, the owners say a dollar from every burger sold on Saturday will be donated to Smith's family.

"We're just hoping to bring them some peace of mind that we're behind them 100-percent. We just want to show them that we're here for you," said Brenna Velcich, Burger Antics.

Smith worked as a supervisor at Advanced Security Solutions out of Des Plaines. The company in a statement said it had no further details on the circumstances surrounding the shooting.
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