Two teenagers in Illinois are in custody after one allegedly hit a 73-year-old Vietnam veteran in the head, killing him, during an attempted carjacking, police said.
According to a preliminary police report, on July 14 around 12:30 p.m., Keith Cooper was in a strip mall parking lot in Chicago when Frank Harris, 18, and a 17-year-old male allegedly tried to take his Hyundai Santa Fe SUV, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Authorities claimed Harris “punched” the victim in the head and the elderly man suffered cardiac arrest, according to the outlet. Cooper was pronounced dead after he was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Witnesses allegedly later identified the teenagers as the carjackers.
Harris is charged with murder-other forcible felony and aggravated vehicular hijacking/handicapped, police said. The minor male involved was charged as a minor and faces charges of first-degree murder and attempted aggravated battery to a person over 60.
According to the Tribune, Harris has a 2020 arrest for aggravated vehicular hijacking while the juvenile had an active warrant for an unnamed offense.
“This isn’t worth it. Someone loves this person, someone needs this person in their life,” said the victim’s daughter, Keinika Carlton, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“I’ll remember his laugh,” she added of the jazz enthusiast and avid reader.
Carlton’s husband, Curtis Carlton, recalled his father-in-law was “the best” and “like a bonus dad.”
He noted he couldn’t fathom why the crime happened. “It was two guys preying on a senior citizen,” he said. “I’m just wrestling with that. I can’t fathom it.”