73-Year-Old Suburban Community Leader Killed in Drive-By on City's West Side

A 73-year-old suburban father and community leader from Chicago’s suburbs was killed in a drive-by shooting Friday morning on the city’s West Side. 

Ronald Allen of Naperville was driving his black Mercedes R350 on the 1300 block of North Laramie in Chicago when police say shots were fired in his direction. Gunfire shattered both windows on the vehicle’s right side, police said, spraying the side of Allen’s body with bullets and killing him. 

His vehicle then went crashing into two parked cars along the side of the road, police said.  Neighbors recalled to NBC 5 hearing four to five gunshots before the loud collision. 

Allen was a retired Allstate Insurance CEO, according to his family, and served on various boards. 

The 73-year-old dedicated much of his time to community service, his family said, and had been the Naperville precinct 37 committeeman for six years at the time of his death. He had also written a book and lectured on African American history, but most of all he was a family man, his son Keith Allen said. 

Allen leaves behind a wife of more than 50 years, four children, and eight grandchildren. 

Family said Allen had friends in Chicago that he would visit, but as to why he was in the city Friday morning or why he was killed they are left without answers. 

His son, Keith Allen, told NBC 5 that they were shocked, but not angry. 

“I’m not sitting here asking for vengeance,” Keith Allen said. “I don’t think that more vengeance and more violence is going to solve anything. Not at all. But what I can tell you and to everybody else out there is that what we need in this world is for people to start coming together, to start working with each other, to start loving each other.” 

Over the past year, Allen had been working on a unity partnership program to bring communities in and around Chicago together with police to stop the violence, his family said. 

Chicago police are still investigating the fatal drive-by. No one is in custody.

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