O'HARE — A pizza delivery driver killed during an apparent robbery was remembered Wednesday as a hard-working recent immigrant trying to make a better life for himself by learning English.
Abylbek Yzabekov was pronounced dead at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge Tuesday at 4:22 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.
Yzabekov had worked as a delivery driver for Mama Mia's Pizzeria, 4638 N. Cumberland Ave., for about a month, said Joe Giannola, a co-worker.
"He was friendly and a hard worker," Giannola said. "He was trying to learn English."
The 31-year-old got out of his car to deliver a pizza in the 5400 block of North East River Road Monday at 12:25 a.m. when he was approached by two men, one of whom had a gun, police said. The two started to rob the man, and during the struggle Yzabekov was shot in the head.
Yzabekov was always smiling and laughing, Giannola said.
"This is so upsetting," Giannola said. "He didn't hang around with bad people."
Police do not believe Yzabekov was affiliated with a gang, police sources said.
The two robbers took off without getting any money from the driver, police said.
Yzabekov also lived in in the 5400 block of north East River Road, and the Tribune reports that a friend of the victim who was in his car at the time of the robbery was not injured.
No one is in custody in connection with Yzabekov's death, said Officer Joe Estrada, a Chicago Police spokesman.
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