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Coast Guardsman Killed on Memorial Day had Bright Future

By Darryl Holliday | January 13, 2013 1:08pm
 Former U.S. Coast Guard, father of infant daughter, was shot and killed on Memorial Day.
Former U.S. Coast Guard, father of infant daughter, was shot and killed on Memorial Day.
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CHICAGO — A mother mourned the loss of countless young men lost to gun violence in the wake of her son's senseless murder.

U.S. Coast Guard veteran Malcom Dowdy was leaving a party on the 1700 block of East 68th Street in South Shore when a stray bullet struck him in the head, killing him instantly.

That was Memorial Day — May 28, 2012. Dowdy, 33, was the unintended target of a man firing blindly into a crowd.

“I worked awfully hard to keep him safe when he was a teen,” said his mother, Michele Dowdy. “I had him go into the service, hoping he would not come back to Chicago. I was nervous about his well-being.”

Dowdy spent four years in the Coast Guard, stationed in St. Joseph, Mich., before eventually returning to Chicago, where his mother’s fears were realized.

He and his fiancé were in the process of settling down at the time of his death, his mother said. Dowdy worked as a security director downtown and had recently begun attending DeVry University.

The couple were planning a wedding and had just bought a house for themselves and their 17-month-old daughter, an only child in a line of only children going back three generations.

“I am just now coming to my senses,” his mother said. “He deserved a lot better than what he got. He was a very, very happy man.”

Details about Dowdy’s death have been silenced by Chicago’s ‘no snitch code,’ according to his mother. She’s offered a reward of $1,000 for any information on his shooter—an amount she recently increased to $2,500.

“I hope to find this person because there’s no peace for me, no closure,” she said. “And I have no intention of my son being just another statistic.”

Meanwhile, she laments the thousands of other young men and women in the line of fire on the city’s streets. 

“It’s like a shooting gallery in Chicago,” she said. “It’s a never-ending story that’s been festering this whole time. I’m wondering if anyone cares about these black males.”