AUSTIN — Friends and family of Keith Johnson said he had just got a new job as a forklift driver, and was scheduled to begin Monday.
But two days before he was to start he was killed in a shooting that police say was preceded by a verbal altercation.
"This is unreal," said Laurie Leonard, 43, early Saturday morning as she watched police at the scene of Johnson's death in the 4800 block of West Iowa Street. "He was a hard-working man who was always there for me and taught my son things."
The shooting occurred about 3:50 a.m. Saturday when 27-year-old Johnson, whose address is unknown, was found unresponsive with multiple bullets to his head, police said.
He was pronounced dead at the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office at 8:10 a.m.
No one was in custody as of Sunday afternoon, police said.
Johnson was the youngest of three siblings and was looking forward to his new job after a recent stint with unemployment, friends and family said.
Austin resident and Johnson's uncle Laserik Webster came to the scene two hours after shooting after he received a call from Johnson's mother who was in Mississippi.
"This is devastating," said Webster saying he had last seen his nephew when he gave him a ride Thursday. "He was just a good kid. He was no angel. But he was no devil either."