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Activist Willie Cooper Shot Dead In Roseland

By Kelly Bauer | July 16, 2017 1:47pm | Updated on July 21, 2017 11:27am

CHICAGO — An anti-violence activist was shot and killed in Roseland on Saturday, police said.

William "Willie" Cooper, who was 58 years old, was slain in the 100 block of West 95th Street — the same block where he'd worked with Lilydale Outreach Workers For a Better Community. The grassroots group, which could not immediately be reached for comment, is dedicated to helping young people by finding them jobs.

At 4:15 p.m., the man was walking in the 100 block of West 95th Street when a dark-colored car drove up and people inside the car fired shots, police said.

The man was hit in his mouth and torso and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Cooper was trying to "enhance the quality of life and help the convicted felons get on the right path so they wouldn't get lured" toward violence or crime, community activist Andrew Holmes said.

"He just wanted to work ... he put his heart into it," said Holmes, who said he had known of Cooper's work before his death though the two were not acquainted. "That's the way his heart and mind and soul was, was just dedicated to helping others."

Cooper had several children and grandchildren, and the family was "close-knit," Holmes said.

The family hopes police will be able to pull and release surveillance video that may show the shooting and the people behind it, Holmes said. They're also planning to offer a reward for information that leads to the arrest of Cooper's killer, though no further details about the reward are available yet.

No one was in custody.