'I lost my best friend': Woman, 70, killed in brazen Hegewisch shooting caught on video

ByDiane Pathieu, Michelle Gallardo, Eric Horng, and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
Surveillance video shows fatal shooting of woman, 70, in Hegewisch
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A 70-year-old woman was killed in a shooting in Chicago's Hegewisch neighborhood Monday morning, police said.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A 70-year-old great grandmother was killed in a shooting in Chicago's Hegewisch neighborhood Monday morning, police said.

Family identified the woman as Yvonne Ruzich.

"She was the opposite of that evil that took her," said Ruzich's daughter Karla. "She was my mom and had a piece of so many other people. Just standing here alone. People who come in for their morning coffee knew my mom."

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It was a weekly routine for Ruzich, who retired from the Department of Streets and Sanitation, to come to work before 5 a.m. a couple of days a week at the Baltimore Food store near 133rd Street and Baltimore Avenue. Her stepson would also often stop to chat for a few minutes on his way to work.

Monday was starting off no different until an unknown gunman decided to take her life.

"You should be ashamed of yourself, and anybody who's hiding your dirty little secret right now should be ashamed of themselves, too," Karla Ruzich said.

Ruzich, was inside a parked car in the 13300-block of South Baltimore Avenue at about 4:26 a.m. when police said two suspects approached and fired shots.

"I woke up this morning to the sounds of gunshots. I heard about 8 or 9 of them," said Edward Manzo.

Surveillance video shows their two vehicles and then a third car pulls up. Two people get out of the car and head over to Yvonne's car, point a gun at her and start shooting.

Her stepson watched the crime happen right before his eyes.

Ruzich managed to drive away but then crashed down the block where the gunman caught up with her and shot her several more times, according to her boyfriend.

She was transported to Advocate Christ Hospital with multiple gunshot wounds and was later pronounced dead, police said

"I don't know what to do with my life now," said Phil McGivney, the victim's boyfriend. "I lost my best friend."

McGivney describes his girlfriend as a loving, caring grandmother that always made sure everyone was taken care of.

"She was wonderful," McGivney said, "She would do anything in the world for anybody and always did."

She worked part-time because she loved to stay busy. Her boss said she was a dedicated employee and a hard worker.

She was known by so many in this tight-knit Hegewisch community, always a smiling face and a great attitude.

This crime has many people that live and work here in complete shock.

"Every single person that came in here, she made feel special but I'm angry," said 10th Ward Alderwoman Susan Sadlowski Garza. "We've been fighting. We have one beat car here, one. We shouldn't be penalized because we are one of the safest neighborhoods in the city. We shouldn't be penalized. We need help here too."

Yvonne leaves behind three grandchildren whom she loved dearly.

"Everyone came out here to celebrate my mom. Everybody needs to come out here to watch your neighbors and help raise your neighbor's kids," Ruzich's daughter said. "Maybe they needed a mom like my mom. Maybe they needed a grandma Jo and their block was missing it."

"The only way we're going to get this resolved is with the help of the community and everybody working together," Chicago Police Cmdr. Robert Rubio said.

Community activist Andrew Holmes is offering a $2,000 reward for information in the case. Police are asking people in the neighborhood to check their surveillance video for possible leads.