CHICAGO - A 73-year-old man who was shot Thursday morning during an attempted robbery on Chicago's Southwest Side kept his cool as he lay bleeding on the sidewalk, in an effort to calm his rescuer as he called for help.
The victim is seen on surveillance video walking on the sidewalk in the 6100-block of South Kenneth Avenue in the city's West Lawn neighborhood just before 6:30 a.m. As soon as he walks off camera, a dark-colored SUV drives up and two people in hooded sweatshirts get out and run toward him.
They demanded the victim's wallet and keys, police said. When he refused, one of the suspects shot him in the stomach. Both jumped back into the SUV, which sped away.
Neighbors heard the trouble.
"I was sleeping and I heard three shots," said neighbor Carolina Rosado.
She saw the victim sitting on the ground near the intersection.
"He was conscious. He was kind of in shock. There were a few neighbors who just gathered up around him," Rosado said.
Adrian Sanchez, who lives across the street from the scene, called 911 after he heard a gunshot and his mother screaming. He ran out to help the victim.
"He was shaking. He was on the floor, obviously. I kept calling the cops. Everybody was panicking," Sanchez said.
Man, 73, shot in West Lawn attempted robbery keeps cool
"I ran out, grabbed a towel on the way, just any towel. I went to see if I could help him with the wound," said neighor Eliseo Magana.
"He was just laying down, with his hands back. Blood all over here," Sanchez said, referring to the victim's abdomen. "We told him that everything's going to be OK. We told him help is on the way."
As it turns out, the victim helped his rescuer in return.
"He told me to relax. Because he saw me screaming at the phone at the police man, telling him to stop asking too much questions and to at least get here as soon as possible. He was telling me, 'Just maintain calm. I'm fine,'" Sanchez said.
The victim told Magana that the two men had tried to rob him. Chicago police said one of the suspects demanded the victim's wallet and car keys. When he refused, they shot him.
"They didn't take anything. They didn't do anything. Nothing. He got shot for nothing," Magana said.
The 73-year-old man was transported to Advocate Christ Hospital, where he remains in serious but stable condition with his wife by his side. The victim told those who came to help him that he was walking to the Orange Line train station and was headed to work.
Sanchez said he does not know the victim personally, but regularly sees him take morning walks in this neighborhood.
Area Central detectives are investigating. No one is in custody. Community crisis responder Andrew Holmes has been out in the community, encouraging people to offer tips to help locate the offenders. A $1,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.
Chicago police are now working with police in Hammond, Ind., to see if Thursday's incident in West Lawn may be connected to three armed robberies or attempted armed robberies that occurred within an hour in Hammond Monday.
If watched side-by-side, the armed robbery in Chicago and the one caught on tape in Hammond are nearly identical. In both, two young men run up with guns drawn, demand money and take off.