More than a week after a 44-year-old man was shot in the chest while washing dishes inside his south suburban home, officials are still searching for shooter.
Juan Ortiz was shot during the evening hours in his home in the 1600 block of West Sunnyside Avenue in Chicago Heights on Dec. 11, according to Cook County Crime Stoppers.
Police said Ortiz's family, including his wife and four children, who are each under the age of 11, were in the home at the time of the shooting. Officers responding to a call of shots fired found Ortiz on his kitchen floor with a gunshot wound to the chest.
He was taken to Franciscan St. James Health in Chicago Heights, where he was pronounced dead. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed the death.
The Cook County Crime Stoppers said Ortiz was a “family man, not someone prone to violence.”
“Juan was looking forward to the upcoming Christmas Holiday; normally a time to enjoy family and presents. All of this is gone because someone had a gun and pulled the trigger,” George McDade, chairman for Cook County Crime Stoppers, said in a statement. “I am not sure if this was just an errant shot that struck Juan, or if it was someone’s sick minded way of having fun and seeing him through the kitchen window decided to shoot at him. Either way a family has lost a father and husband and community a leader.”
Chicago Heights Police Chief Charles Guiliani said the crime is "highly unusual" for the area and police have not yet found a motive or any suspects in the shooting.
Chicago Heights police, Ortiz’s family and friends and the Cook County Crime Stoppers are scheduled to gather Saturday on his block to distribute fliers asking for information on his death.
A $1,000 reward is offered for information leading to an arrest, according to authorities.
“The offender is at large and the community needs to step forward and help us identify the person responsible before they shoot again” McDade said.
Anyone with information can call an anonymous hotline at (800)-535-STOP (7867).