Good Samaritan shot, killed in Lawndale

November 23, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Bobby Butler was shot Monday night in the city's Lawndale neighborhood while trying to stop a purse snatcher. Police are calling him a Good Samaritan. The woman was not injured.

The shooting happened just before 6 p.m. Monday night in the 2100-block of South Millard on the city's West Side.

Butler, 55, tried to intervene as a woman he barely knew was getting robbed. Now, community groups are asking for help in finding the person who stole a woman's purse and killed a Good Samaritan.

Butler wasn't even on a first-name basis with the woman he tried to rescue from a purse-snatching. But his effort cost him his life Monday night.

Police say the offender, who was threatening the woman with a gun, shot Butler, who later died at a hospital.

"This gentleman was a very Good Samaritan," said Paul Rutherford, Cook County Crime Stoppers. "He's what we want in the City of Chicago, is people to step up and literally stop the violence."

Rutherford says, according to the woman, she and Butler would often see each other in the evenings, riding the CTA Pink Line, and would both get off at the Central Park el stop. She says Butler would often walk with her and other women as they made their way to their cars a few blocks away.

It was about 6 p.m. Monday when the woman went to her car in the 2100-block of South Millard.

"From what I've heard he wished her happy Thanksgiving, not knowing if he would see her because of the holidays," said Rutherford.

Police say that's when a gunman confronted her with a gun. They say Butler came up to the robber, tried to stop him, and was shot.

"What he did, I would have done to stop someone from hurting someone else," said Andrew Holmes, of No Guns No Violence, "and we're asking the citizens of Chicago to come together and bring some justice and turn this perpetrator in."

Butler himself has a lengthy criminal history. The 55-year-old has been in and out of jail for offenses ranging from robbery to drug possession. He was currently on parole for narcotics.

Still, some residents commend Butler for his actions.

"People got to get involved and help prevent these kind of crimes," said Naim Muhammad, resident. "These things happen.. Nobody seems to know what's going on. They're all, 'I don't want to get involved.' "

Cook County Crime Stoppers and No Guns No Violence are each putting up $1,000 as a reward for information leading to an arrest of the suspect. Anyone with information should call Area 4 Police Headquarters at (312) 746.-8252.

Crime Stoppers is working with police to put together a sketch of the gunman. They hope to have it soon.

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