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Updated 07/13/11 – 9:05 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — He was the father of three small kids, stepfather to several others; a man who worked for 17 years in the same Bronzeville barbecue joint, cooking and making friends.
Joshua Hudgins, 34, was shot and killed Tuesday night as he was taking a cigarette break at Alice’s Bar-B-Q, 65 E. 43rd St. As CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports, the bullets were apparently meant for someone else.
On Wednesday, seeking comfort, Hudgins’ family met with their pastor. Hudgins’ stepdaughter had a message for the person that killed him.
“He worked every day, hard, for his family. He’s a good man. Just come clean, turn yourself in. I mean, what type of man are you to take his life?” Alia Kendrick said.
Her mother, Charlene Kendrick, said, “I’m so empty. I don’t know what to do. I just wish somebody would please tell somebody something.”
LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Regine Schlesinger reports
Hudgins was working as the “pitmaster” in the kitchen at Alice’s on Tuesday. At about 9 p.m., he stepped outside to take a break. He ran into an old friend, Henry Ramsey outside. They talked, Ramsey stepped away briefly and, suddenly, as many as nine shots rang out.
“Naturally, I go down. I hit the ground myself and I’m looking to see where these shots are coming from,” Ramsey said. “And when I looked this way, he was … he’s laying here man. And I couldn’t help him and it hurt. … I don’t like to talk about because he was a friend of mine.”
Hudgins, who was unconscious when he was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, was not the intended target, police said.
Hudgins, of 4901 S. Champlain Ave, was pronounced dead there at 9:45 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
Friends said Hudgins knew about the dangers in the area.
“Every night he got off, he’d call me when the neighborhood would be in turmoil with shooting and stuff, he would call me and ask, what’s the safest way to walk home?” his friend Geno Williams said.
Local resident James Grisson said, “always somebody gets shot. A little girl, 7 years old, got shot the other day. You can’t do nothing about it.”
Chicago police said they believe the person who shot Hudgins intended to hit a known gang member who was walking down the street, near the spot where Hudgins was killed.
Police said they are searching for the car the shooter or shooters used. It’s described only as a silver or gray sedan.
Wentworth Area detectives have been trying to obtain video from businesses in the area, including the barbeque restaurant, which is a favorite stop for police in the area.