CHICAGO LAWN — Corey Williams' relatives have more theories than answers as they struggle to piece together an Auburn Gresham shooting that killed the 29-year-old father and mechanic early Thursday.
"I want somebody to pay for it because why would you take a life from another human being and think that's OK?" asked Williams' dad, 52-year-old Willie Williams.
"We never would've thought something like that could happen to [Corey] because everybody liked him. I could see if he was hanging in the street, you could expect that. But he got off work, went home, played with his kid ..." Willie Williams trailed off.
About 2:15 a.m. Thursday, police found Corey Williams lying on the sidewalk in the 8100 block of South Marshfield Avenue with a gunshot wound in his chest. Halfway down the block sat his car, a black BMW according to police, which was facing the wrong way on the one-way street.
Corey Williams, who lived several blocks away in the 7900 block of South Damen Avenue, was rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 3:15 a.m.
Willie Williams think his son's death could've been a robbery.
Earlier that night he had lent his snowblower to Corey Williams, who worked as a mechanic, like his father and brother. It should've been in his son's car, he said, but police didn't recover it on the scene.
"My snowblower was not in the car," Willie Williams said. "Why would they kill him over a snowblower? Baffling me."
Police could not confirm whether robbery was a possible motive in Corey Williams' death.
According to police and the Illinois Department of Corrections, Corey Williams had been sentenced in 2010 for the unlawful possession and use of a firearm. He served time and was paroled in 2012.
In 2003, Corey Williams was charged with an attempted armed robbery. He was sentenced to nine years in prison and released early, but it is unclear how long he served.
Willie Williams insisted his son was "never an aggressive type of guy."
"He was a funny type of guy," he recalled with a smile. "He would always kid around."
Tyashia Holliday, Corey Williams' girlfriend of seven years and the mother of his 4-year-old son, said her boyfriend was outgoing and had a charming personality. Relatives described him as a doting dad to his son, known as Lil Corey.
"He spent a lot of time with his son," Willie Williams said. "He tried to teach him to be a mechanic" as Willie Williams had taught his own boys years ago. "He would sit his son on the hood and say, 'This is the carburetor. This is the fuel injector. This is the alternator.'"
Members of Corey Williams's tight-knit family — which includes his parents, three sisters, brother, girlfriend, son and seven nieces and nephews — were shocked by his death, his dad said.
"There's nothing I can do to relieve the pain at this time."