A 25-year-old Army Reservist from Indiana was killed and his toddler son wounded Saturday night in what detectives say is a case of mistaken identity.
Willie Cook was stopped in front of his grandmother’s house in the 3900 block of Evergreen about 5:30 p.m. when police received reports of gunfire in the area, Lt. Marguerite Wilder said.
Cook was pronounced dead at the scene. His 3-year-old son, who was strapped in a child restraint seat behind his father in the car, was wounded in the leg.
Family members said Cook returned to the U.S. from Afghanistan just about five months ago.
"Willie went across the waters to fight for this country, and he comes to die. For what?" Cook's great uncle, Roger Danforth, questioned Monday.
The slaying was the second homicide in East Chicago’s Harbor neighborhood in less than a week. Detectives said they believe Cook was not the shooter's intended target.
"To see my nephew with this hole in his head, it hurts," said Danforth.
Anyone with information on the shooting should call the East Chicago Police Department's tip line at 219-391-8500.