72-year-old man shot to death on way to dialysis treatment

72-year-old man headed to dialysis robbed, shot to death outside home

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A 72-year-old man who was about to board a bus to go to a medical appointment was shot to death outside his Roseland neighborhood home early Saturday during an apparent robbery attempt, police said.

"He was 72-years-old, his birthday was just Sunday, last weekend, Sunday, he just turned 72," said William Strickland's son-in-law.

And now just days after celebrating life, Strickland's family members are planning his funeral after he was fatally shot steps away from his front door.

FOX 32 News learned that Strickland was on his way to dialysis treatment early Saturday morning when he was ambushed and ultimately struck by multiple bullets in his back, stomach and head in an apparent robbery.

"They must have been scoping him out for somebody to be out at 3 a.m. in the morning, yeah. So it's sad," said Deedra Shepard.

The shooting happened across the street from Chicago State University where a lone state police car patrolled the area Saturday afternoon. Police say they're searching for two suspects and believe Strickland was the target of an apparent robbery though it's a mystery what, if anything was taken.

Theolene Shears, 84, was home next door when the attack happened.

"Very shocking because we haven't had anything like this happen to us. Now traffic is motor traffic, pedestrians very few. No definitely not normal," said Shears.

And Shears would know.

She's lived in her home on the Far South Side for nearly five decades and describes the father, husband and friend who loss his life.

"He was a wonderful person, now that I can say. I can really honestly say he was very nice," said Shears. "He watched out for the neighborhood" and reported any trouble he saw.

Neighbors said Strickland, who sometimes walked with a cane, went to dialysis three times a week.

"He went early," said Shears. "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.

Strickland is survived by his wife, a daughter and three grandchildren, his neighbors said.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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