SOUTH CHICAGO — A 43-year-old ex-con who watched over his neighborhood was shot to death on his block March 6.
Eddie Coleman was described as a sort of neighborhood enforcer by his family members. The 43-year-old man was guarding the street when he was shot and killed on the 3000 block of East 79th Place, according to his sister.
“Yes, he was a former gang member, but he tried to steer other guys the right way— because he had been there,” said Melinda Coleman. “I guess the [shooter] just didn’t like what my brother said to him.”
Eddie Coleman was seen arguing with a man before the shooting, according to police reports. He ran east on 79th place after the gunman pulled out a weapon and began chasing him while firing shots. Coleman fell to the ground wounded and was shot several more times in the chest and back.
“My brother [lived] with me,” Coleman's sister said, remembering their youth. As the oldest of four siblings, all two years apart, Coleman was known to take apart bikes and put them back together just to see how they worked.
“He played a major part in our lives,” she said of her brother's role within their family.
The portrait of Coleman painted by his sister and girlfriend, Taheerah Abdullah, is more nuanced than the list of his arrests might suggest. That list includes a DUI conviction, misdemeanor and felony convictions, as well as a charge of first-degree murder that was later dropped, according to court records.
“He looked out for the block and kept the peace,” said Abdullah. "He didn’t have any kids but he had nephews, nieces and the neighborhood kids that all loved him.”