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Gunman Ambushed Long-Time Chocolate Store Employee in Fatal Robbery: Family

By Darryl Holliday | October 30, 2013 7:22am
  Todd Coleman, 54, was "sun on a cloudy day," his family said. "People would say, 'There goes TC.'"
Todd Coleman Slain
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WEST ENGLEWOOD — Todd Coleman's family said the 54-year-old chocolate store employee tried to run when he saw a gunman outside his home early Monday morning.

Coleman, known widely as "TC," was "like clockwork," said his son Tyrone Lofton, 36.

He would preheat his car before his shift at World's Finest Chocolates, 4310 S. Pulaski Road, where he worked for 17 years. At the end of the day, he would come home at the same time and typically wash his car, Lofton said.

Coleman was found beside his red Ford sedan, parked in front of his home in the 1200 block of West 72nd Place, where he had dropped his keys in an attempt to run from his killer, Lofton said. According to police, he had been shot several times about 5:25 a.m.

Lofton suspects the shooter, knowing Coleman's routine, may have waited for him before trying to rob him.

He described his father, who was shot first in his back and then in his head, as big-hearted, dignified and forgiving — "a cool man."

"I don't know what the world has come to that young men have to be so heartless," Lofton said upon leaving the morgue and returning to his father's home. "I had a father, and now I'm just like other statistics."

"Now, every young brother I look at, I'm mad — and it shouldn't be like that."

Coleman, according to his son, loved his car, nice hats and fishing. He kept largely to himself, but would lend help or his car mechanic skills to anyone, he added.

"He was born here, he lived in the city all his life, but he was southern hospitality," Lofton said.

He was also "terrified of guns," Lofton said, describing a robbery attempt that left his father with a bullet wound in 1986 — "He wasn't a gun person no way."

Coleman was coming out of a difficult time and was looking forward to moving to the suburbs, Lofton said — his home on 79th Place, where his family gathered Tuesday morning, "was just supposed to be temporary."

Lofton said he eventually plans to move his own children out of Chicago for their safety.

Neighbors at the scene of Coleman's death said a lot of boys in their teens or young men in their 20s hang out on the block, and they were surprised to learn the shooting victim was in his 50s.

"We all have our own past, but violence was never mine," Lofton said, his frustration with the city's violence palpable. "[The shooter] didn't even take nothin', that's the thing — it's senseless — my father died scared." 

"This wasn't a young guy or a guy who was involved with the street," Lofton said. "This was a man who had a job for 17 years and loved fishing."

"We get looked down on and frowned upon [in Englewood], but that wasn't him ... he was sun on a cloudy day — people would say, 'There goes TC.'"