William Strickland usually wanted to get to his dialysis appointment early to get it out of the way, so the 72-year-old South Side man headed out in the predawn hours Saturday.
He had just made it to the gangway outside his home in the 400 block of East 95th Street across the street from Chicago State University, on his way to board a Pace paratransit van, when two men tried to rob him and shot him several times, the police said.
Strickland died at 4 a.m. just steps from his home.
Neighbors said Strickland, who sometimes walked with a cane, went to dialysis three times a week.
“He went early,” said Theolene Shears, 84. “He said he liked it better so he could get it over with.”
Strickland was friendly with the driver of the van, who was there when the shooting happened, said Patrick Wilmot, a spokesman for Pace.
Family and neighbors said Strickland had recently retired after working for nearly 30 years at a steel mill.
“He is a good neighbor, a very nice and congenial, quiet man,” said Shears, who heard three shots.
She said “he watched out for the neighborhood” and reported any trouble he saw.
Strickland is survived by his wife, a daughter and three grandchildren, his neighbors said.
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Flickr: The Robbery (gcfairch)