Man Shot to Death Worked at Store 30 Years

A coworker found the man shot to death at the back of Wabash Food & Liquors

By Kim Vatis
|  Friday, May 6, 2011  |  Updated 11:18 PM CDT
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An employee of Wabash Food & Liquors, at 234 S. Wabash Ave., discovered a coworker on Friday shot in the head in the back room of the store.

An employee of Wabash Food & Liquors, at 234 S. Wabash Ave., discovered a coworker on Friday shot in the head in the back room of the store.

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A man found shot to death Friday morning at a Loop convenience store apparently was the result of a robbery, police said.

The man, identified by his sister as Ed Jernagin, 57, was shot in the head, according to Chicago Police News Affairs. A coworker discovered Jernagin's body in the back room of Wabash Food & Liquors, at 234 S. Wabash Ave. Officers were notified just after 8 a.m. 

Family members said Jernagin never returned home from work Thursday night.

An officer on the scene said property was taken from the store, and Lt. Dennis Wash said the shooting was "nothing personally." Walsh confirmed this is the first homicide downtown this year and said the Loop is generally a safe area.

Relatives say they learned Jernagin's wallet was taken and that when police responded to an unrelated fire on the South Side, they found his wallet. Fire officials could not confirm this.

"I hope they find whoever did this and that my brother gets justice," Vera Jernagin told NBC Chicago.

Police could not confirm whether Jernagin was shot overnight or if it happened Friday morning. The store apparently closes around 9 p.m. and opens by 7:10 a.m.

Jernagin worked at the store for 30 years. He has two daughters and eight grandchildren.

Customers learning of the shooting on their way to work said the death is like losing a neighbor.

"It's awful, you don't expect this to happen," said Shannon Stevens, a customer.

"He's very friendly and open," customer Timothy Young said of the man who usually works in the store. "He didn't deserve this, especially being so humble and friendly."

Police blocked the sidewalk in front of the store, but roads were not closed. CTA buses were rerouted, but Loop trains continued uninterrupted.

Wabash Food & Liquors has been open in the Loop for years. Customers told NBC Chicago that the store is part of their morning routine.

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