EAST SIDE — A retired Chicago police sergeant is in critical condition Tuesday morning after he was shot in his home on the Southeast Side during a robbery.
About 11:45 p.m., police responded to calls of a robbery at the East Side home of 73-year-old Elmer Brown.
Two men forced their way into the house and announced a robbery before shooting the retired sergeant in his neck, police said. Brown was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
Brown underwent surgery after the shooting and was listed in critical condition as of Tuesday morning. Family members gathered at the hospital as they await news, said Brown's grandson, Christopher Brown.
"He's out of surgery, but he's still critical," Christopher Brown said. "That's all I know."
Family said Brown's wife was also at home during the robbery but was unharmed. No one was in custody in connection with the shooting, police said.
Neighbors in the quiet section of the Southeast Side home to many city employees said they were shocked to hear Brown had been shot.
"We're definitely praying for him," said neighbor Maribel Cortez. "We all know each other. For something like this to happen ... it's scary."
Cortez, 28, grew up just down the street from the Browns' home and said many of her neighbors on the block have lived there for decades.
"I would hate for something like this to cause neighbors to put up 'for sale' signs," she said.
Cortez said violent crime tends to stay north of her neighborhood. She said she almost feels safe enough to even keep her doors unlocked.
"I felt safe until last night," she said. "Now it's like you better double lock your doors."
Neighbors said the Browns were a very friendly family who frequently barbecued in the warm weather. A next-door neighbor who declined to give her name said both Brown and his wife had health problems and had a regular caregiver.
"I don't know what to think," the woman said after she heard news of the shooting. "It's a very quiet neighborhood."
Kris Klein, who lives on the block, also said the news came as a surprise.
"It's a safe neighborhood," he said. "Generally you don't see that kind of crime down here."