By Tara Molina

HARVEY, Ill. (CBS)– Neighbors said two children saw their 33-year-old father get shot and killed during a home invasion at his Harvey apartment Wednesday night.

Harvey Police Chief Eddie Winters said, around 8:40 p.m. Wednesday, officers responded to a call of a shooting in an apartment near 146th and Loomis streets. When officers arrived, they found 33-year-old Antwan Hawthorne had been shot multiple times and was “in a lifeless state” inside his basement apartment

Hawthorne was taken to Ingalls Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Winters said Hawthorne’s two children — a 4-year-old and a 5-year-old — were home at the time. Police said it’s unclear if they witnessed the shooting, but neighbors said they did.

The children have been handed over to other relatives.

The chief said he could not confirm or deny reports the shooting was drug-related.

“Our investigators did recover some narcotics there, but that’s just minimal right now,” Winters said.

Neighbor Gloria Cesar was shocked by the news. She talked with CBS 2’s Tara Molina.

“I heard that the kids were there at the time it happened. And I just thank God the kids didn’t get hurt,” Cesar said.

She added: “Oh my God. It’ like, it hurts so bad to see that the kids are going to have to go through this for the rest of their life.”

Cesar has called the Harvey neighborhood where the shooting happened home for more than two decades.

“It just surprises me now to see how bad it has gotten again,” she said.

Cesar called Hawthorne a very good man and father to his children.

“I love his kids and his lady. I just love them all. In the summertime, they used to be out here just playing,” she said, “and they’re just sweet people. Very sweet.”

It was unclear how the shooter got inside the home, or if anything was stolen. But family members told us, off camera, it happened when Hawthorne opened the door.

Winters the gunman did not force his way in – instead calling the incident a targeted attack. But he maintained that police are investigating the case as a home invasion.

“It’s called a home invasion simply because the individual or the suspects that are in there, we have a murder that’s taken place as a result of that, and apparently the entrance to this home could have either been unlawful entry,” Winters said.

Cook County Sheriff’s police were assisting Harvey officers with the investigation.

Meanwhile, Cesar had a message for the person behind the murder.

“Do what’s right!” she said. “You have to confess and let the police know what happened.”

No one was in custody Thursday afternoon.

Police late Thursday were asking for the community’s help in tracking down the suspect, and would not address any questions about whether or not that suspect was injured.

Tara Molina