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West Side Father Killed After Returning From Family Funeral

By Quinn Ford | March 7, 2014 6:36am
 Eric Woods, 25, was killed at his West Garfield Park home Feb. 27. Police arrested 29-year-old Alexander Scott in the fatal shooting.
Eric Woods
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WEST GARFIELD PARK — Just last week, Jessie Woods buried her sister. Now she's planning a funeral for her son.

"He didn't deserve this," Woods said of her son. "He died for no reason."

Eric Woods was shot to death shortly after returning home from his aunt's funeral on Feb. 27.

The 25-year-old was at his apartment in the 900 block of South Springfield Avenue which he shared with his girlfriend and her two boys.

The father of the two children, Alexander Scott, showed up at the apartment about 4 p.m. Thursday after picking one of boys up from school, authorities said.

Family and authorities said Scott began arguing with Woods about the kids, and Scott pulled a gun and repeatedly shot Woods in the chest.

The shooting reportedly happened in front the the children.

Police were called, and Woods was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5:02 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.

Before police arrived, Scott fled to his home in the 2200 block of North Campbell Avenue where he eventually made the call to turn himself in, according to court records.

When officers arrived at Scott' home about 7 p.m., he walked out with his hands up and told them "I shot somebody today," according to court records.

Scott, 29, is charged with first-degree murder in Woods' death and appeared in bond court Saturday, where Cook County Judge James Brown denied him bail.

Scott has been arrested several times, including in 2005 when he was arrested on aggravated gun charges. He plead guilty to those charges and was sentenced to two years in prison, court records show.

Jessie Woods and her family got word of her son's death from police while they were at her sister's funeral reception.

A week after the shooting, Woods said she is relieved her son's alleged killer was caught but is still filled with anger over what happened.

"I want him punished to the fullest degree because it was senseless," Woods said. "He killed him for no reason ... jealousy and envy."

The second of her four children, Eric Woods grew up in the Albany Park neighborhood and graduated from Roosevelt High School.

Woods also graduated in October from Cortiva Institute, where he studied massage therapy.

Woods said her son planned to open his own massage business and already had begun building a regular client list. She said giving massages was a skill her son had since childhood.

"He was pretty good at it," she said with a smile. "He would always massage my feet. He'd just walk up behind you and start massaging you."

Family members described Woods as caring and loyal with a good sense of humor. He spent a lot of his time with his 7-year-old daughter, Nalani. He also liked basketball and drawing.

Woods said she wants people to know who her son was and that his death was "senseless."

"He was a great young man with potential," she said. "I would like people to know he was very well-loved."