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Police: Grandson killed, robbed 72-year-old man who was headed to dialysis

William Strickland. Photo/Chicago Police

William Strickland. Photo/Chicago Police

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Updated: May 30, 2013 5:27PM

William Strickland waited for his grandfather to step out of his South Side home to take his paratransit ride to a kidney dialysis appointment early March 2, authorities said Saturday — then stood behind the 72-year-old man, shot him six times in the back and stole his wallet, leaving him to die just steps from his home.

Prosecutors said Saturday that Strickland, 19, used the money he took from his grandfather, who also was named William Strickland, to pay for new gym shoes, a cellphone and tattoos.

The teen had no criminal history but was an admitted gang member, they said.

He’d been living with his grandfather, according to neighbors.

“I just know that he stayed there,” said neighbor Mario Farmer, who was shocked at hearing the news about the grandson being accused. “I would have never expected it. That’s sad. That’s really sad.”

The younger Strickland was charged late Friday with first-degree murder and armed robbery with a handgun in the March 2 shooting in the 400 block of East 95th Street. On Saturday, a judge ordered him held without bail.

Police initially said Strickland was with another man during the robbery, but no one else was in custody Saturday.

Prosecutors said the semi-automatic gun used in the killing was owned by Strickland’s grandfather and that he’d stolen it from the older man.

The elder Strickland liked to get to his dialysis appointment early, according to neighbors. “He went early,” Theolene Shears, 84, said after the shooting. “He said he liked it better so he could get it over with.”

Strickland was headed to a Pace paratransit van for his ride to his dialysis appointment and had just made it to the gangway of his home when two men robbed and shot him several times, according to police. He died a short while later, around 4 a.m., just steps from his home.

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

Family and neighbors said Strickland had recently retired after working nearly 30 years at a steel mill.

Shears, who heard three shots, said “he watched out for the neighborhood” and reported any trouble he saw.

Another neighbor, who asked not to be named, said the younger Strickland was quiet and “mysterious.”

Contributing: Becky Schlikerman

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