EAST GARFIELD PARK — An East Garfield Park man who had recently finished pharmacy school and was set to start a new job Monday was shot dead in front of his father Saturday.
Aquiles Hood said he and his son, Gentiles Williamson, 27, were on their way to the barber shop two men with guns approached them in front of their home in the 3100 block of West Arthington Avenue.
Hood, 63, was on the phone when he heard Williamson telling the men to leave them alone. Then one of them fired.
The next thing Hood remembered was looking into Williamson's eyes as he said, "Dad, I been hit. Call the police," he said.
"I couldn't believe it. I couldn't even dial 911," he said. "Next thing he said was, 'I can't feel my legs.'"
Hood realized his son was gone when the ambulance arrived.
"They wouldn't let me ride with him. They knew he was dead. They didn't even turn the sirens on," he said. "I didn't want to accept it, but deep in my heart I knew."
Police said two men between the ages of 18 and 20 approached the pair around 12:30 p.m., shooting Williamson three times in the chest. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:07 p.m.
The two men fled the scene on foot before entering a grey car that traveled eastbound on Arthington Avenue. No one is in custody, said Officer Janel Sedevic, a police spokeswoman.
"He was a good, good, good boy," said a family friend visiting Hood to offer condolences and who declined to give his name. "He always did what he had to do. He always went to school. It's a shame."
"This is not a bad block," Hood said Sunday afternoon as he walked out of the family home on his way to church.
He said Williamson had just finished pharmacy school, and was set to begin working at Walgreens Monday as a pharmacist. He said his son was not into gangs and was known all around the block as a good kid.
"You can ask anyone around here," Hood said. "He didn't drink. He never smoked a cigarette. He just liked to have fun."
Hood was not sure why the two men approached and shot his son. He did not believe it was a robbery because "no one asked me for money," but thought it may have to deal with his son's girlfriend.
"I couldn't explain that," he said. "I can't explain losing my child."