WASHINGTON PARK — Police said they are questioning someone after a 67-year-old man described by neighbors as a "pillar" of his community was fatally shot near a South Side bus stop Tuesday morning.
Billy Sergent was in the 6000 block of South King Drive when someone shot him in the chest and buttocks about 8:45 a.m., said Officer Jose Estrada, a Chicago Police Department spokesman. He was at a bus stop about a block away from Washington Park.
Sergent was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and pronounced dead at 9:15 a.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.
Neighbor Sennie Barnes said Sergent, whom she knew as "Big Bill," recently had invited her to his birthday party.
"He was a really nice man," Barnes said. "If I didn't have a husband, I'd like to be married to him."
Barnes said Sergent would get a cup of coffee every morning and then take the bus to a local racetrack.
Though he'd head to Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero, he'd usually end up just watching the horses, because he couldn't afford to gamble, said a woman who identified herself as his former landlord.
"This neighborhood lost a pillar that's been here for 40 years," she said. She declined to give her name.
"Billy didn't deserve to die," she said. "It's as if I've lost family, my brother."
After the shooting, Keyairra Nocenticelli stood near the bus stop with her 4-year-old son, Kayveon.
"It's ridiculous," Nocenticelli, 18, said. "They're making this neighborhood so unsafe. This is a bus stop. Kids could have been here."
Neighborhood resident Tyron Crosby said he was sleeping when he heard about six or seven shots about a block away from his home.
Sergent lived in a home in the 6000 block of South Vernon Avenue, according to personnel working there.