SOUTH SHORE — A small memorial of flowers and bottles sat partially buried underneath the wet snow outside Sam's Food and Deli in the 2300 block of East 75th Street Wednesday afternoon.
Customers paused to glance at the memorial's poster, which read "R.I.P. Alpo," as they shuffled in and out of the store.
"Alpo" was Chad Collins' nickname. Collins, 36, was a regular at the convenience store, according to the store owner Sam, who asked his last name not be used.
He had known Collins for almost eight years. The 36-year-old came to the store "every other day."
But as Collins was waiting in line to buy some snacks about 7 p.m. Monday, someone with a gun opened the store's door and started shooting.
Collins was hit repeatedly in his body, police said. Sam was behind the counter when it happened.
"I'm just trying to get over it," he said Wednesday. "Seeing somebody get shot, seeing the blood, hearing him scream for his life, it doesn't come out of your mind easily."
An ambulance was called, and Collins, who lived in south suburban Harvey, was rushed to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn and was pronounced dead at the hospital at 8 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.
An autopsy determined he died from his wounds as well as "prior gunshot wounds."
Police said they believe the shooting to be gang-related.
Sam remembered Collins as a good person. He could be stand-offish to strangers, but "that's just how he was."
"I don't have anything bad to say about him," he said. "He was a good guy."
Collins lived with his longtime girlfriend in Harvey but had grown up in South Shore and spent a lot of his time in the neighborhood.
As he rang up his customers Wednesday, the store manager said he had no idea what could have led to the shooting, but he said Collins "didn't deserve" what happened.
"How he died, he didn't deserve it," Sam said. "Nobody deserves it."