Family mourns father of 2 shot to death while working security near University of Illinois Chicago

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Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Family mourns security guard, dad of two shot to death near UIC campus
Family members say Damien Nelson was killed in a University Village, Chicago shooting while working security at BJ Wright Court apartments.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Family members say Damien Nelson was working security and walking his normal route outside in University Village when he was murdered, leaving his relatives without their patriarch.

"I'm just in shock. Like, this can't be real," said Mamie Thomas, Nelson's wife. "You just took someone's life and tore their family apart."

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The couple went from high school sweethearts to, now, a widow left torn and empty in the South Side home she shared with her husband and family.

"Life is going to be different with raising my son, because he won't be here for none of it," Thomas said.

It's same home where she learned from officers that her life partner would never return to.

"So, my mind instantly went, like, 'What hospital he at?' She was like, 'There's no hospital. He didn't make it. He's at the morgue.' It did not sit it. So I'm just like, 'Are you serious?'" Thomas said.

A sense of shock and disbelief still remains with Thomas after her husband and the father of her two children was shot multiple times and killed while on the job as a security guard early Monday morning.

Vehicles around Morgan and 14th were left riddled with bullets near the University of Illinois Chicago campus.

The Benford security company confirmed with ABC7 the 44-year-old father worked security at BJ Wright Court apartments, a housing complex across from the scene.

Nelson's family believes the deadly ambush was due to mistaken identity.

"You just think about, like, if he was in deep pain during that time. Was he trying to run away, or plead his case?" said Damaria Nelson, the victim's daughter.

His daughter asked us not to show her face, but to share her heartache.

"I love him dearly. And, I will accomplish everything that he would have wanted me to accomplish," she said.

Police say they are unsure how many gunmen fired shots or a motive behind the shooting, but say the suspect or suspects got away in a dark-colored car. No one has been arrested.

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