Chicago police said the father of three was putting up holiday decorations at his house on West 58th street Saturday, when two unknown men fatally wounded him with “blunt objects,” seemingly at random. Tellez’s daughter, who witnessed the assault and called for help, was apparently not harmed.
No arrests were made in connection with the attack as of midday Tuesday, and police have not identified any suspects or motive for the crime.
Jose Tellez Beaten to Death, Police Say
Chicago police said that on Saturday, Tellez and his young daughter were putting up Christmas lights at their home in Gage Park, a suburban residential neighborhood on the city’s southwest side.
Investigators believe that at about 6:30 p.m., two male assailants pulled up in a sedan and attacked the 49-year-old with “blunt objects,” striking him in the head before making their getaway. His daughter was not harmed.
An unnamed neighbor told the Chicago Sun-Times she was setting up decorations in her own yard when she heard Tellez’s daughter cry out, ““My dad, my dad, he’s hurt.’” The neighbor said she ran to Tellez’s property to see the father of three bleeding badly on the ground, still clutching a string of Christmas lights.
“I told her to get a blanket to put on his head. There was a lot of blood,” the neighbor said.
Tellez was reportedly unconscious but still breathing when emergency medical personnel arrived at his 58th street home. He was rushed to Christ Medical Center in nearby Oak Lawn, where he succumbed to his injuries at around 10:30 p.m. — some four hours after the shocking attack, the newspaper reported.
Authorities have not released detailed descriptions of the two male suspects, and with no motive apparent as of Tuesday, the brutal attack appears to have been unprovoked. The suspects reportedly did not try to rob Tellez, though it’s not clear if they confronted him at all before launching their assault.
No arrests have been made, and an investigation is ongoing, Chicago police said.
Victim Mourned by Family, Community
Jose Tellez, who was born in Mexico but had been a longtime U.S. resident, left behind three children and a wife, according to reports.
“He was a loving husband, father, brother and son,” wrote his niece Daisy Castro on a GoFundMe page set up on Sunday to help pay for funeral costs. As of Tuesday, the page raised over $36,000, surpassing its $10,000 in only 48 hours.
The unnamed neighbor who tended to Tellez’s daughter, told the Sun-Times that the 49-year-old was a decent, quiet man. She said she couldn’t imagine why he would be targeted in a violent attack and said his killing “traumatized” her.
Silverio Nodal, another neighbor, told reporters he had known Tellez for about a decade, and that he was “a family man, a hard-working guy” who made his living in landscaping.
“It’s a shame. This is supposed to be the best season, the Christmas season,” the neighbor said. “It’s a family thing. These things shouldn’t be happening. It’s a big shock for all of us.”
“He came here to provide the best for his family, you know as all of us do, the American dream […] But this is not the American dream.”