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73-year-old ‘lost it,’ killed roommate, prosecutors say

The elderly man named Tiny Tim first used his cane to get back at the young roommate he had been arguing with.

When that didn’t get a rise out of the 24-year-old man, Tiny Tim Gilbert, 73, went back to his room, got a gun and yelled, “You son of a bitch” before allegedly shooting Bryan Burgos-Lopez in the head.

“I lost it and shot the kid,” Cook County prosecutors said Gilbert told his live-in girlfriend who ran into the kitchen when she heard the shot on the morning of Nov. 15. Gilbert is charged with first-degree murder.

The 6-foot, 240-pound Gilbert and Burgos-Lopez had been arguing in the kitchen of their home in the 4900 block of North Whipple when Burgos-Lopez sat down at the kitchen table, assistant state’s attorney Ramon Moore said.

Gilbert started striking Burgos-Lopez in the back with his cane but the younger man did not fight back, prosecutors said.

Angered by Burgos-Lopez’s indifference, Gilbert retrieved his .38-special revolver, Moore said.

Before the deadly shooting, Gilbert tapped his victim’s head with the muzzle of the gun three times, Moore said.

He allegedly told police the gun went off when he struck Burgos-Lopez in the head.

But Cook County medical examiner’s officials said the gunshot wound was not consistent with Gilbert’s claim.

A witness who was in the front room told police he never saw Burgos-Lopez with a weapon or act aggressive toward Gilbert.

However, an assistant public defender noted that Gilbert had to be hospitalized for injuries in his abdomen area.

The retired welder, who has previous convictions for assault, battery and burglaries in Cook County and South Carolina, suffers from diabetes and was recently scheduled to get an angiogram.

Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil ordered Gilbert held in lieu of $2 million bail Friday.

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