Police are investigating the death of Woom Sing Tse, who was shot outside his home in Chicago’s Chinatown. A suspect is in custody while Tse’s family and neighborhood mourn his death and are afraid of the rising crime in Chinatown.
The tragic shooting happened Tuesday afternoon after lunch time on the 200 block of West 23rd Place. Tse had just finished lunch with his wife and was walking to a newsstand for a paper when a silver sedan pulled up beside him and fired multiple shots. The driver of the car then got out, walked up to Woom Sing Tse and shot him again.
The suspect was later picked up by police on the Kennedy Expressway near Jackson. The gun was found in his car. Police were able to capture the shooting on neighborhood surveillance footage. A motive for the crime is unknown and officers are investigating whether the 71-year-old was targeted.
According to his friends, Woom Sing Tse was a fixture in the community and a shining example of the American dream. He came to the United States 50 years ago with just $100. Tse was able to get a job at a restaurant and then worked hard and opened up his own restaurant in the Chicago suburbs. The 71-year-old retired nine years ago, and many said that he enjoyed his time off
He liked to walk down the street to get a cup of coffee or a newspaper. His favorite game to play was ping pong and he would go to the Chinese Community Center on 22nd Place four times a week to play with his friends.
Most importantly, Tse loved his family. He had three children, and his daughter was a teacher at John C. Haines Elementary School across the street from their home. His family has scheduled a prayer vigil for him at 23rd Street and Princeton Avenue Friday night at 7 p.m.
“He was a good man,” cousin Winnie Tse, 61, said. “He took care of his family, made money and took care of the three kids. He was a good husband and father.”
His family has not released an official statement about the death of their loved one, and according to Tse’s daughter, the family is not ready to talk about Woom Sing Tse at this time.
Because the shooting took place across from the elementary school, witnesses say that many of the students heard the gunshots. A group of them were out to recess when Woom Sing Tse was killed.
“She was outside for recess when she heard the shots,” Michael White, a parent, said. “She was nervous, scared like any other kid would be. It’s sad.”
Other parents said that their children thought the shots were just a drill and many are scared to bring their kids back to the school. “How do you go to school and protect your kids?” said Wade Chan, a family friend and parent of a Haines student. “I mean, when this happened, kids were having recess outside.”
According to Chinatown residents, the area has seen an increase in crime, and many are scared. Witnesses say that there have been more break-ins and robberies, and that the shooting of Woom Sing Tse is the first murder this year.
“Chinatown is not a safe place now. A lot of people robbing people and breaking into houses,” Tony Wong, friend of the victim, said. “We feel pretty scared too.”
Residents are urging the Chicago Police to add more officers to Chinatown.