Community Activist Mark S. Allen 773-392-0165

CTA Mechanic Fatally Shot Near His South Side Home

Family Of Jerome Cole Muhammad Insist Killer Confused Victim With Someone Else


An execution: That's what police are calling the murder of a 33-year-old CTA mechanic. Jerome Cole Muhammad was walking just a block from his home, when two men walked up to him and pulled the trigger. Police and his family can't figure why they did it.Family members say Muhammad was universally loved in the Gresham neighborhood. They say the killers who ambushed him in the alley must have shot the wrong man.Naml Muhammad lost his big brother before dawn Sunday, when Jerome was shot execution-style in this alley just a block from his house."I'm going to miss all the good times we had and that we still have ... He was my only brother," Naml Muhammad said.Police say Jerome had no gang affiliation. Family members say the CTA mechanic was a family man who adored his 5 year-old-son.So far, they haven't been able to figure out how to explain the unexplainable to the child who just finished kindergarten."When and how -- that's the difficult part as far as addressing it to his son," Muhammad said.A crowd gathered on South Wood Street to comfort the family and remember a man known for making others laugh."He was just jolly, jolly all the time. He always mad you laugh," said Danna Young, who knew Muhammad for most of his life.Loved ones leaned on one another for support while remembering a life well lived.Naml says the killers shot the wrong man. He wanted them to know the human cost of their mistake on a small boy and a large family."You just destroyed a family," he said.Naml Muhammad added: "If his killers can lay their head on a pillow after what they've done, they're not human, that's all, they're not human."Police say Jerome Muhammad had just left his front porch and was walking down the alley when he was shot in the legs. At least one of the killers then stood over him and shot him in the face.A motive has not been established, although police said the shooting was "definitely deliberate."No suspects were in custody

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