Chicago Chinatown shooting: Murder charges filed after man, 71, killed outside CPS school

Thursday, December 9, 2021
Man charged with murder in Chinatown shooting outside school
Alfonso Joyner is charged with murder for the shooting in Chicago's Chinatown outside Haines Elementary School that killed 71-year-old Woom Sing Tse.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A man is charged with murder after a 71-year-old man shot and killed outside an elementary school in Chinatown.

Woom Sing Tse, 71, was killed Tuesday afternoon on a sidewalk near John C. Haines Elementary School.

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown announced Alfonso Joyner, 23, has been charged with first degree murder in the death.

WATCH: Police announce charges in fatal Chinatown shooting

Chicago Police Superintenden David Brown announces murder charges in the fatal shooting of a 71-year-old man in Chinatown.

Police said 71-year-old Tse was targeted and shot multiple times near the intersection of 23rd Place and Princeton Avenue, steps away from the school while classes were in session. He was taking a walk to get a newspaper.

Police said Joyner allegedly fired a round of shots from his car, but did not hit Tse, who is seen on surveillance video visibly startled. A second round of shots was fired from the car, and this time Tse was struck, police said. He falls to the ground and the driver of the car, who police said was Joyner, gets out and stands over him before firing more shots and then fleeing.

"This offender gets out of his vehicle, walks up to the sidewalk, stands over Mr. Tse and then immediately fires several more rounds into his body, causing his death," said Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan.

Police said the community sprang into action, leading to Joyner's arrest.

"The real break in this case was almost immediate," said 9th District Commander Don Jerome. "The Chinatown Community Watch called me on my cellphone within minutes of this incident occurring."

Surveillance video helped officers track Joyner and his car to a spot on the Kennedy Expressway. A gun was found in the car with an extended magazine.

For the close-knit Chinatown community, communication with police has been a priority.

"The Chinatown Chamber of Commerce has maintained a number of security cameras for a while, and we work very closely with police," said Grace Chan McKibben, Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community. "Safety is often cited as one of the most important issues that the community cares about."

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Deenihan said he has been contacted by North Side officers investigating several unsolved murders in Rogers Park from 2018, to see if there are any connections to this case or Joyner. He confirmed his department is looking into it and working with the North Side detectives, but said it is much too early in the investigation to know if there is any connection.

"At this point we focused on getting this case solved. But I'm very well aware of the cases you're talking about on the North Side," he said at Wednesday night's press conference. "And the detectives on the North Side have already reached out to these detectives. And we are comparing everything we possible can and from those cases to this case or any other case that may appear to be some sort of random act of violence. So we don't know at this time."

Parents dropping off their children at the school Wednesday morning were distraught.

"I thought I was fine, to be honest, but now talking to you, it's kind of bringing up the emotion around the whole event," said Marissa Warren, a parent of a Haines student. "My daughter mentioned that a lot of students, at first, thought it was a drill."

"How do you go to school and protect your kids?" said Wade Chan, a family friend and parent of a Haines student. "I mean, when this happened, kids were having recess outside."

Some young students witnessed and heard it all, including the victim's own daughter, who a family-friend says teaches at the school.

"She went to grade school here, went to Lane, came back and given back to the community as a teacher at Haines School," Chan said.

Michelle Chu said Tse was a neighbor of hers for decades. He retired several years ago after working in the restaurant industry, and spent time either with his grandkids or exercising.

"I just feel sad. I feel bad," she said.

Some parents pleaded for more officers on the streets of Chinatown.

"We need help," Chan said. "We need the police officers' help."

25th ward alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez said in a statement. "Not only is a family grieving the tragic loss of their loved one, but an entire community and nearby school filled with children are impacted by what happened yesterday."

Investigators have not said what prompted the shooting.