MORGAN PARK — Family members said John "Fuzzy" Atkins left a club in the south suburbs Friday night with a woman on his arm, a common sight they said for the popular party promoter.
But Atkins never made it back to his home in the city's Riverdale neighborhood that night. Instead, police found his body in the backyard of a home in Morgan Park Saturday morning.
About 11:20 a.m. Saturday, police were called to the 11700 block of South Hale Avenue, said Officer Michael Sullivan, a Chicago Police Department spokesman.
Atkins had been shot once in his head and was pronounced dead on the scene at 11:35 a.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.
Atkins' mother, Zedda Atkins, said she did not receive word of her son's death until Monday because police had to identify her son by his fingerprints. Detectives told her all her son's valuables, including his wallet and ID, had been taken, she said.
Police did not confirm Atkins had been robbed, but they said no one was in custody in connection with his death as of Tuesday morning.
Atkins, known as "Fuzzy," was a popular club promoter who hosted parties at clubs for celebrities, including comedian Kevin Hart, boxer Floyd Mayweather and singer Chris Brown. He also made guest appearances to promote his shows on WPWX Power 92.
Zedda Atkins said it was a career well-suited for her son, whom she described as very outgoing.
"Everybody knew about Fuzzy. Everybody loved him," she said. "He had the gift of gab, so he used it, and he used it well."
The youngest of her three children, Atkins could always make his mother laugh, she said. He also loved to dance, which he did pretty much "always," Atkins remembered.
"Even when he was a baby, oh honey, he could tear Michael Jackson's butt up," she said.
Family members said Atkins was last seen leaving Club Adrianna's Friday night in south suburban Markham after he hosted a party there. They said he was seen leaving the club with a woman, but they did not know who the woman was.
Atkins leaves behind a 6-year-old daughter, Johnneka, who was especially close with her father, family said.
Zedda Atkins said she wants whoever killed her son to "stand up" and stop being a "coward.
"I'm more hurt how they did it, not what they did, but how they did it," she said. "They shot him in the back of his head, and that's dirty."