CHICAGO -- A 32-year-old father of three was fatally shot in the city's Rosemoor neighborhood while he paid bills at his kitchen table.
A stray bullet hit Demarco Kennedy in the neck at about 8 p.m. Tuesday in his home in the 600-block of East 102nd Place on the Far South Side, officials said. Family said he was on the phone with Sprint.
He died at Trinity Hospital hours later.
The shots apparently came from the parking lot of a nearby Popeyes fast-food restaurant. A bullet traveled between a thin gangway to the second floor of the home. It ricocheted off the window handle and moved inside, hitting Kennedy.
Kennedy's wife and children, ages 7, 12 and 14, were in another room and not injured.
"He is the epitome of true love. He showed my children unconditional love as well as myself," said Nicole Kennedy, the love of his life for 18 years.
"He was a great dad, he loved all three of his kids," said Kennedy's cousin, Beverly Smith.
On Wednesday night, Nicole Kennedy spoke at Operation Wake Up, a community event hosted by Chicago police, focused on ending the kind of violence that took Demarco Kennedy's life.
"I thank you for coming out," Nicole Kennedy told the crowd. "This didn't have to happen. We could have all went about our merry way."
For the past five years, Demarco Kennedy drove trucks for the railroad. He worked the overnight shift. He was off on Tuesday when he was shot.
"He was a family man. He loved his kids. He loved going to work. He loved working for the railroad," said Lorenzo Kennedy, Demarco's brother.
Family members and neighbors are now wondering how random violence has turned so many innocent people into victims.
"Somebody heard something. Somebody saw something. Now we need somebody to say something. Give us that tip, because if they shot once senseless they are going to shoot again senseless," said 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale.
Easy access to guns is part of the problem, family members said.
"Instead of sending these little punks to jail, start a draft where you send those punks to war. They want to shoot, let 'em go shoot. Teach 'em how to shoot and make them career soldiers," Lorenzo Kennedy said.
He said he and his brother grew up in a violent neighborhood, but they never made it their way of life.
"Nothing can replace his life. I just want to thank God because he is going to be watching over him now. He's done his time here on Earth," said Nicole Kennedy.
No one was in custody as of Wednesday evening, police said.
Father, 32, shot while paying bills at his dining room table in Chicago
U.S. & WORLD