A prominent community leader in one Chicago neighborhood who, according to local residents, spent his life fighting the city’s epidemic of violence, was fatally shot Saturday near the non-profit organization that he ran.
William “Willie” Cooper, 58, who was principal officer of Lilydale Outreach Workers for a Better Community, was struck in the face and back during an afternoon drive-by as he walked down the street.
“People are so cold-hearted,” Patricia Carter, Cooper’s niece, said in an emotional interview with reporters as lines of police tape blew behind her. “How could you take somebody’s life? He helped everybody. I just don’t understand.”
Bamani Obadele, Cooper’s friend, said the victim worked hard to better the community by helping find jobs for ex-offenders and at-risk teens.
“I almost want to name him the mayor of 95th Street,” Obadele said.
Others at the scene talked of Cooper’s unwavering commitment to those in the community, attempting to lend a helping hand and make a positive difference wherever he could.
Police have no suspects in custody at this time, but say the suspects were driving a dark-colored vehicle and used an AR-15.
[ ABC 7 ]