Terrance Graves, 23, the father of a young girl, worked two jobs: one as a landscaper, and the other selling fruit and newspapers near the BP gas station at 99th and Halsted. On Tuesday morning, he was shot while he was working that job.
Police say he was shot in the head, and two men were seen fleeing on foot, apparently running down an alley.
Boxes of fruit and newspapers remained Tuesday evening at the site where Graves was killed.
"They came up on him at 5:30 this morning and shot him. Several times, not just once, several," said Teresa Graves, victim's mother.
Graves' mother Tuesday morning said that her son was not in a gang but may have been involved in an argument with gang members who were trying to claim the corner.
"I'm just praying and wishing that whoever did this, they get him, 'cause he didn't deserve this at all," said Teresa Graves. "I know his daily routine. He didn't deserve this. He's a good kid."
Graves would start his job selling fruit and newspapers every morning at 4 a.m. His boss says gang bangers did not like that Graves was making an honest living there.
"I think it's horrible. He was more than just a worker, he was one of my best friends. I have all my friends that I've had my whole life, and he was right up there with them," said Pete Kasbohm, Graves' employer.
"Well I'm in shock right now. He's a nice guy, and that's all I can tell you. I've known him for about two years and it's just messed up. Life is just so short right now, you know," said Sean Mayberry, victim's friend.
Family members could be seen crying and holding each other where the shooting occurred.
"It's crazy. I don't have anyone to help me take care of my daughter. She's only 5 years old, I don't know how I'm supposed to explain to her what happened today," said Dasha Springer, Terrence Graves's fiancee. "Now my focus is to... what am I going to do about my baby? How can I go home and explain to my 5-year-old daughter that her father is dead?"
There were more than a dozen shell casings left behind, which police took as evidence. They will also review video footage recorded by a red light camera located next to the scene of the shooting.
It is believed the shooter fired at close range. Police said they have no suspects in custody, but are looking for the two men seen fleeing on foot.