CHICAGO — A longtime Brother Rice High School teacher found dead in his home Tuesday morning was stabbed to death, authorities said Wednesday.
Al Filan, 62, taught business and chaired the business department at the all-boys Catholic high school at 10001 S. Pulaski Road in Mount Greenwood.
Filan was pronounced dead at 11:07 a.m. Tuesday in his home in the 9400 block of Georgetown Square in southwest suburban Orland Park, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.
His death was ruled a homicide after an autopsy.
Orland Park police arrived at his home at 10:35 a.m. based on information that he had not reported for work, according to a statement from Commander John Keating. When they entered the home, Filan was found lying dead on the kitchen floor.
On Wednesday, Brother Rice students said they were stunned by the circumstances of the teacher's death.
"Most of the kids try not to think about it, but it's kind of scary," said Zack Meegan, a sophomore at the high school.
When the school announced Filan's death, "the mood was low" and students were silent, said Meegan, 15.
"This school's really going to miss him, his upbeat personality and all that. He was a really good teacher. He was a very good supervisor and mentor," he said.
Filan taught at Brother Rice for more than 39 years, according to a school statement.
"He has touched the lives of thousands of students, colleagues and family members," the statement read. "He will be fondly missed."
Students remembered Filan as a "really funny guy," though his humor was sometimes mistaken as anger. Once Filan jokingly gave a detention for sneezing, according to students.
"He gave a lot of detentions," said Matt Kopec, a Brother Rice sophomore. "He was here for 39 years, and he was comfortable. He just liked to have fun."
Filan was an eccentric teacher and an overall good guy, Kopec said. The student echoed fellow classmates' reactions on what was a solemn day at the school.
"A lot of people he didn't know were affected today. Even the teachers were clearly down," Kopec said.