Vigil held for 73-year-old Vietnam veteran killed in attempted carjacking

Chicago Crime

CHICAGO — A vigil was held Friday night in memory of Keith Cooper, a 73-year-old Vietnam veteran killed in an attempted carjacking earlier this week.

An 18-year-old charged in Cooper’s death following the attempted carjacking Wednesday was ordered to be held without bail.

In bond court Friday afternoon, Frank Harris, 18, was considered a threat by the judge after it was determined he was already on probation for another carjacking, where he allegedly used a firearm in the incident.

Harris has been charged with murder and aggravated vehicular hijacking. A 17-year-old, who was not identified because of his age, was also charged with murder and attempted aggravated battery of someone 60 or older.

The two were arrested and charged on Wednesday after they were identified as the suspects who allegedly tried to take a car from 73-year-old Keith Cooper, a Vietnam veteran and grandfather.

Cooper would have turned 74 years old next week.

Around 12:40 p.m., CPD and University of Chicago officers responded to a call of a robbery on the 1200 block of East 53rd Street. When they arrived, officers located the 73-year-old on the ground.

Witnesses told police that two suspects attempted to take the man’s vehicle and then struck him on the head with their fists. They were detained a short time later.

In bond court Friday, Harris admitted to the incident, but did not admit to murder.

Cooper, who served in the Marines during two tours of Vietnam, was rushed to the University of Chicago Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

“It was a gut punch. I was expecting to see him today,” his daughter Keinika Carlton said. “This isn’t worth it, you’re taking these individuals away from their loved ones.”

A lover of jazz music, Star Trek and horror movies, his daughter says she’ll hold on to their memories.

“Selfish, just selfish and it makes me so angry his car was worth more than his life to them and that made no sense,” Carlton said “They didn’t even get the car.”

Carlton wants to know who the witnesses were that jumped in to help so she can thank them.

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