Cops Release Sketch of Suspect in Fatal Shooting of Gage Park Shop Owner

By Emily Morris on January 16, 2013 10:11am 

 One of the gunmen is described by police as black, between 18 and 25 years old, 5-foot-6 and weighing about 140 pounds.
One of the gunmen is described by police as black, between 18 and 25 years old, 5-foot-6 and weighing about 140 pounds.
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Chicago Police Department

CHICAGO — Police released a sketch of one of the gunmen wanted in connection with the fatal armed robbery of a Gage Park shop owner earlier this month.

Michael Kozel, 57, was shot to death during a robbery at his South Western Avenue auto store on Jan 2, authorities said.

The two gunmen allegedly robbed Independent Mufflers Inc., 5654 S. Western Ave., before one of them shot Kozel in the back as he tried to run away.

The robbers walked into the shop and asked to buy something sometime before 5:20 p.m., police said. That's when  one of them pulled out a blue steel semi-automatic handgun, cops said.

One of the gunmen then shot Michael Kozel as he tried to run away, striking him in the back, authorities said.

The robbers made off with an undisclosed amount of money before fleeing the shop and heading south on Western Avenue, police said. Cops noted they then headed west on South 57th Street.

The man in the sketch is described by police as black, between 18 and 25 years old, standing 5-foot-6 and weighing about 140 pounds. He was wearing a light blue jacket, black stocking cap and dark denim pants, police said.

The other robber is described as black, between 18 and 25 years old, standing 6 feet tall and weighing about 160 pounds.

Kozel was a father of two, a grandfather of three and had owned the store for more than 20 years, family said.

"My dad had the biggest heart," daughter Amber Kozel said earlier this month. "There's no words to describe the pain."

When asked what she had to say to the robbers, the shop owner's wife, Antonia Kozel, said: "Die."

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call police at (312) 747-8380.

Geoff Ziezulewicz contributed to this report

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