SOUTH SHORE — Standing at the scene of a makeshift memorial Saturday morning that marked where Raymond Tucker was fatally shot less than a day ago, his friends were still in shock and disbelief over his sudden and violent death.
Tucker, 24, of the 7900 block of South Jeffrey Boulevard in South Shore, was shot in the head Friday afternoon, just a few blocks from his home.
Just west of the corner of Jeffrey and East 79th Street, a memorial made of balloons, poster board, stuffed animals and liquor bottles stood under a slate sky on Saturday.
Ashley Evans, 24, said she knew Tucker for more than a decade.
"It's hard," she said. "We'd see the man everyday, walking his puppy."
Tucker had a puppy named "Gucci" and was a constant comedian who loved to dance, she said, but he would also give advice to anyone who needed it.
"He was one of the kindest people around here," she said. "We loved him. This wasn't meant for him."
Tucker, whom friends called "Mone," wasn't a gang banger, Evans said.
"He was a pest, he would get on your nerves, but he was never a bad person," she said. "Just because you hang with people in a gang, you're not in a gang. Mone wasn't that type of person. His best friend was his dog."
The violence has generally stayed away from this slice of the South Shore, Evans said.
"Everybody from Jeffrey to (Stony Island Avenue) is family," she said. "We've never had this before."
One man, who stood staring at the memorial, remembered Tucker as the guy who would cheer you up.
"He would lift your spirit if you were down," said the man, who asked not to be named.
Friends said Tucker leaves behind a high school-age sister. He loved sports but couldn't play well.
His family declined to comment Saturday.
Dre Cooks said Tucker was always spontaneous and optimistic.
Cooks, 22, said he didn't know what his friend could have done to warrant a bullet in the head.
"Ain't no tellin'," Cooks said. "We all got skeletons in the closet. But he didn't deserve [that]."