Police: 73-year-old Vietnam veteran killed in attempted carjacking near University of Chicago campus

Chicago Crime

CHICAGO — A Vietnam veteran and grandfather died after he was punched during an attempted carjacking near the University of Chicago Wednesday afternoon, police said.

At around 12:40 p.m., CPD and University of Chicago officers responded to a call of a robbery in the 1200 block of East 53rd Street. When they arrived, officers located a 73-year-old man, later identified as Keith Cooper, 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. The suspects were detained a short time later.

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,” 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. 

Chicago police took over the investigation. Carlton wants to know who the witnesses were that jumped in to help so she can thank them.

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