RIVERDALE, Ill. (CBS) – A man was attacked and shot to death in a home invasion in south suburban Riverdale early Thursday.
Melvin Burnside, 51, was shot at his home in the 14300 block of South Clark Street in Riverdale. He was taken on a stretcher from his home to Ingalls Hospital in Harvey, where he was pronounced dead.
A home invader bashed his way through the front door and shot Burnside to death. Family members said robbery appears to have been the motive for the 3 a.m. break-in.
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The much-loved Burnside was being mourned Thursday morning. He was a father of three and was well-known in the community. He and his family are the longtime operators of Reese’s Lounge on Chicago’s South Side.
Burnside owned two businesses in Chicago, and his brother, Michael Burnside, was the pastor of a Riverdale church.
The victim’s daughter, Yvette Burnside, has loving memories of the man who raised her.
“(He was) very sweet and giving, and he just knew a lot of people, and everywhere we went he knew somebody, so I just don’t understand who would do this to my father and take him from us,” Yvette Burnside said. “It’s terrible what’s going on in the streets today. You can’t even be safe in your own home.”
Police released a sketch of the suspect, a surveillance photo believed to be that of the offender and a description. They say he is a male black in his early 20s, between 5 feet, 5 inches tall and 5 feet, 7 inches tall, and between the ages of 18 and 27. He was wearing a rust-colored sweatshirt with white lettering.
Burnside’s family is encouraged that police already have an idea of who they are looking for. But the images didn’t look familiar to many who frequent Reese’s Lounge.
“It’s just a matter of time before they bring the person responsible to justice,” Maurice Burnside, the victim’s brother, said.
Neighbors said Burnside would literally have given neighbors the shirt off his back, and would have handed over the money without resisting in a robbery.
Melvin Burnside’s family say they have no idea who could have killed him. His brother, Pastor Michael Burnside, added, “I don’t know whether he had any enemies that would do this.”
Pastor Burnside says his brother was an entrepreneur, starting a number of businesses with an independent spirit, “By him trying so many different businesses, he couldn’t have made a lot of friends, but his character and the things that he did outside of those business ventures, there were a lot of people that encouraged him, that knew him and actually loved him.”
Former Riverdale Mayor Zenovia Evans says Burnside was a real contributor to the community, “he will be missed.”
CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli and Mai Martinez, Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller and the Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.