CHICAGO (CBS) — A young father and South Side business owner was gunned down for a mere $2,500, relatives say.
JoJo James spent Christmas eve morning working at his gas station at 43rd and State Street. Right before changing shifts, gunmen forced their way inside and opened fire, in the middle of the day.
Family members say James, 31, was looking forward to spending his first Christmas with his 5-month-old son. His wife is also pregnant with their second child.
Now both children will grow up never knowing their father, all because robbers decided to shoot James three times on the way out, after getting what they came for.
“Twenty-five hundred dollars (for) the life of a man. That’s horrible,” James’ uncle, Jaibu Mathew, tells CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov.
“They should have taken the money and go home,” he said. “Why did they shoot him? We don’t know.”
Mathew says his nephew had just taken out the trash at the BP station he co-owned when at least two men approached him. When he tried to lock the door, they forced their way inside, told him and a cashier to lie down and then stole the money.
They opened fire on the way out, shooting James in the neck, chest and leg.
On Saturday, Chicago detectives and technicians spent hours outside the business collecting evidence, some of which may have been left in the parking lot.
Detectives also took a look at video from the more than five security cameras at the station, but police told CBS 2 they are not ready to release any images.
The James family hopes it helps catch his killer. They concede it won’t bring back the young father, who will never get to see his second child or watch his young son grow up.
Police say the offenders did not shoot or injure the cashier who was with James at the time. They are talking to him about what he saw or even what he knows.
James’ wake is Friday, followed by his funeral Saturday.