Loop liquor store employee found fatally shot

May 6, 2011 (CHICAGO)

Edward Jernigan, 57, was shot in the head during an apparent burglary attempt. A co-worker found his body when he arrived at Wabash Food and Liquors at 234 S. Wabash Ave around 8. a.m.

His granddaughter got a call on her way to school.

"I worked here too on Sundays. Nobody never bothered us in any kind of way. That's why I am trying to figure out how could something like this happen to him. He was an innocent man. My granddaddy did no wrong to nobody," said Asia White, granddaughter.

Police say some property was taken in the apparent robbery, but they are not calling the death a homicide.

Family members cannot understand why a man who knew the dangers of working in a liquor store and had befriended so many people would be shot.

"The biggest problem he would have with the local wineheads looking for a drink with no money and, you know, he would sometimes give them a drink and then there was times that he couldn't. And they may get mad at him for that. But I can't see nothing for them to kill him," said George Miles, brother.

One of 11 siblings, Jernagin was a primary caregiver to his 79-year-old mother. He had just returned from a trip to visit his father in Mississippi. His sister was on that trip, too.

"They took a very good guy. They took my mama's best friend. He did everything he could for my mama and now now he gone," said Vera Jernagin, sister.

As police dusted for fingerprints and talked to witnesses, several bystanders remembered a man who was a friend to the downtrodden.

"He was a victim of his own generosity. That's exactly what it is," said Vera Jernagin.

Jernagin leaves behind two daughters, eight grandchildren and one great grandchild.

No arrests have been made.

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