Along the snow covered section of Evergreen Street in East Chicago, gunfire took the life of 25-year-old Willie Cook.
His uncle described his nephew calling him a “great guy.” Cook served in the Army Reserves, returning in September from a tour in Afghanistan and worked as a forklift operator at the ford plant not far from home.
Stephen Parker, Willie’s uncle said he was a “Well-rounded, hardworking guy. He worked. He didn’t’ deserve it.”
An empty parking spot marks where Willie had just pulled up in his car Saturday afternoon outside his grandmother’s home, his 3 year old son Antwan sat in the backseat when someone opened fire.
“He told my mother “I’ll be in there in three minutes as soon as I get through texting. He was on his phone texting. And he was going to bring the baby in, because the baby was in the backseat.”
Antwan was shot in the leg and survived but Willie, who got shot in the neck, did not.
Police believe this was a case of mistaken identity related to another shooting nearby last week.
Willie, who survived war in Afghanistan, and was engaged to be married this year, died in the place where he grew up.
Police haven’t made any arrests– as they investigate the city’s second homicide in less than a week– nearly as many as it had in all of last year.
Willie’s uncle wants the shooter found, “God will take care of you, whoever you are being the way you are, I have no idea god will take care of you. I’ll let god get with you.”