(CBS) — A beloved and retired construction worker did something we all do: every day: he simply answered his front door. A gunman shot and killed the elderly man in his Back of the Yards home Sunday morning.

CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley spoke to loved ones mourning the loss of their family’s patriarch.

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The country man they called Big Freddy lovingly watched over his Back of the Yards block from the chair outside his bungalow.

But when 71-year-old Freddell Bryant opened his door Sunday morning, he met a violent end.

“He opened the door for anybody,” said the Bryant’s niece Lolita Hancock. “Why wouldn’t he open the door this morning thinking it’s one of his kids coming to the door? And these bastards shot him through the door for nothing.”

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At age 18, Bryant came to Chicago from Helena, Arkansas and spent a lifetime working construction, raising a family of nine children and living on Green Street for more than three decades.

“He raised everybody on this block, everybody stayed in his house,” said Tracey Hancock, Bryant’s niece. “If they didn’t have a place to go, they could come here and he would always open his door to everybody and for somebody to come and shoot him down like a dog, it’s not fair.”

Now, family members mourn their loss, and wonder about what the city has become.

“When they say Chiraq, this is Chiraq because something’s got to give, something’s got to give in Chicago,” Lolita Hancock said. “We’re losing our youth, we’re losing our elderly, everything, it’s just innocent people.”

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In short, Freddell Bryant was a man everyone knew and everyone loved, but that didn’t protect him from becoming a victim.