SOUTH LOOP — A 70-year-old great-grandfather shot a neighbor during a fight in their South Loop apartment building last Monday, leaving him seriously wounded, authorities said.
In a twist, the elderly suspect opened fire after Jose Alverio, 41, tried to shake his hand at their South Michigan Avenue building, hitting him in the chest and abdomen, according to prosecutors.
Johnnie Jones, of the 2000 block of South Michigan Avenue, was charged with aggravated battery and was held on $300,000 bail in the Nov. 26 shooting, police said Wednesday.
Jones, who lives alone, attacked Alverio, a mechanic and father of nine, in the hallway just after 1 p.m. after the men got into an argument, police said.
After that, Jones went into the property manager's office and had a conversation with property manager, according to prosecutors.
When Jones walked out, he allegedly whipped out a .32 caliber revolver, pointed it at the victim and began to fire.
The victim put his arm up to try to defend himself and jumped over a railing to a lower level of the lobby in an attempt to get away, prosecutors said.
But then Jones allegedly kept pursuing him; when cops arrived, they saw Jones standing over the victim, pointing a gun at him. As they approached, he stashed the gun in his jacket pocket, authorities said.
The victim was rushed to Northwestern Hospital in critical condition with a collapsed lung and an injured small intestine, prosecutors said.
At the site of the shooting, Alverio's son Victor, 18, said his father made a living by fixing the cars of people in his building. He was supposed to replace the battery in Jones' car.
His brother Tevin, 19, rushed down from his apartment after learning of the shooting from neighbors.
"I just ran downstairs, and when I got down there I just hoped he would make it," Tevin said.
The brothers said their father looked like he would survive his injuries as of Wednesday evening.
Jones' daughter, Kindra Williams, 37, a minister, said that her dad suffers from dementia and his "health has digressed aggressively over a year's time."
"This incident is a shock for everyone," she said.
According to his first wife, Barbara Hudson, Jones, who prosecutors said had no "publishable record," is a "very passive person [who] likes to have fun."
"I feel bad for the victim," she said. "I don't know what he did to make him mad."
His second wife, Patricia Hatcher, 64, said that they were together on Thanksgiving and he seemed fine.
"We ... had a wonderful time," she said. "I dropped him off at home after."