EAST GARFIELD PARK — A 35-year-old man whose fiancé describes as "the sweetest man in the whole world" was shot dead in West Humboldt Park Wednesday evening.
Elton Johnson was shot sometime before 6 p.m. in the 1000 block of North Avers Avenue when a man got out of a light-colored van and fired on the victim, hitting him in the torso, police said.
The shooting occurred in front of home of one of his best friends, a man who remained by Johnson's side in his dying moments, said Johnson's fiancé Alvina Garret.
Johnson was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:17 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.
"He's like that character from Tyler Perry's House of Payne," said Garret, 39, comparing her boyfriend of 13 years to Curtis Payne, the curmedgeonly protagonist of a former sitcom. "He's grouchy yet funny. He was the sweetest man in the whole world."
"You couldn't pull any wool over his eyes. You could never pull nothing past him," she added.
Garret and Johnson lived together in West Humboldt Park until three years ago, when the two moved to the 200 block of North California Avenue.
Johnson, who worked odd jobs fixing electronics and cars, would often return to his old neighborhood to spend time with old friends.
Police said Johnson was gang-affiliated and said the shooting was possibly gang-related.
The shooter fled the scene in the van and no one has been arrested in the shooting, police said.
Garret says Johnson had a criminal history, but that was in his past.
"He did have a life like that, but that was years ago and he had changed his life," Garret said. "I saw potential with him. He made me feel loved."