1 shot, killed inside barbershop on NW Side

March 20, 2010 3:49:20 PM PDT
A brutal murder occurred inside a Chicago barbershop after a gunman entered suddenly and opened fire. A man who was getting his haircut was shot and killed. Saturday evening, his family said the man had been trying to turn his life around.

"A family has a lost a father, a loving person," said Neyda Ramos, the shooting victim's girlfriend.

Charles Akers, 25, was at his local barbershop -- a place he has visited once a month for the last four years -- when witnesses say a gunman, apparently without a fear, took Akers' life.

"A guy came in, shot him in head cold-blooded in front of family, kids, 20 to 30 people in there. Just shot him," Ramos told ABC7 Chicago.

"The shooter, he walked in, came from nowhere. He knew what he was doing exactly," barbershop owner Basim Sulieman said.

The Fade Inn barber shop is located in the 5600-block of West Irving Park Road.

Sulieman says he had a full house of customers just after 8 p.m. Friday. Seated just steps from the victim was an off-duty Cook County corrections officer. When the shooting began and the suspect fled, he gave chase but could not catch the shooter.

"We never had problems with customers. This is the first time. It seems like there was something between them outside. The shooter, he saw him in here," said the owner.

"Charles wasn't like that. He wasn't an animal," Ramos said.

Ramos also said her boyfriend used to run with gangs, but she insists Akers was turning his life around. Having a 6-year-old son, she said, caused Akers to reprioritize his life.

"He hated all that stuff, but his friends he knew since he was young. But you can't judge a person because of that," Ramos said.

Police confirm the victim, Charles Akers, had gang ties. What they say they still do not know is what precipitated Friday night's shooting.

Saturday evening, a police spokesperson said detectives did not have a suspect in custody.