Man killed for his car keys on South Side, police say

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A 56-year-old man was shot and killed during an attempted robbery in Chicago's Grand Crossing neighborhood overnight. (WLS)

A 56-year-old man was shot and killed during an attempted robbery in Chicago's Grand Crossing neighborhood overnight.

The victim's mother, Gloria Cotton, identified him as Ira Cotton, a dedicated husband, father of two, grandfather of four and retired corrections officer. She said he worked at the county jail for 20 years.

She said her son was standing on a front porch in the 7400-block of South Ingleside Avenue around 12:10 a.m. Wednesday, asking about a friend's son's graduation party.

Police said that's when someone in a hoodie approached him and demanded his car keys. As Cotton handed them over, the suspect shot him in the left leg.

"The guy said, 'Give me your keys.' He was offering them to him in some kind of way. Like the police say, he might have gotten spooked and shot him, period. So it was just, immediate," Gloria Cotton said.

Cotton made it back into the house, where he collapsed. He was rushed to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. His mother said doctors told her the bullet struck her son's femoral artery.

Harold Dieudonne, who became friends with the victim in high school, paid his respects at the scene Wednesday morning. He said Cotton was a good man.

"Extremely nice humble human being. Never heard him say anything bad about anybody," Dieudonne said.

His family said the shooter did not end up taking his car. Police did not give a description of the suspect. No one is in custody.

Investigators are looking whether Cotton knew the gunman or if the incident was random.

"It's crazy here. If you have someplace else to go, it would be fine. They say stop the violence? It won't be in my time. It might be in yours. Stop the violence... Everybody can have a gun," Gloria Cotton said.
Related Topics:
newschicago shootingchicago violenceattempted robberyChicago - Grand Crossing
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