‘Absolutely Shocking': Victim in Chicago High-Rise Shooting Identified

The man killed inside a Chicago high-rise fitness center Wednesday night in a shocking shooting that has left many in the River West community stunned has been identified as 45-year-old Darrin Joss.

Joss was killed just after 7 p.m. inside the 8th floor gym of a high-rise in 500 block of West Kinzie where he also lives, according to police. Witnesses reported seeing a man in wheelchair open fire on Joss, shooting him in the head. Joss was rushed to the hospital, police said, where he was pronounced dead. 

A suspect wanted in connection to the murder turned himself in to police early Thursday morning.

Joss' family said his killing is "absolutely shocking."

Joss, a graduate of the University of Iowa, has lived in Chicago since graduation and enjoyed going to the gym and watching sports, including the Hawkeyes and the Cubs, family members said. He dreamed of working in trading at the Chicago Board of Trade. He owned two units in the building, one to live in and the other for work.

Joss' Father, Kenneth Joss, said his son's killing has been "the worst nightmare you could ever experience." He called the shooting "senseless" and said his son "would give anyone the shirt off his back." 

"That's what's so weird about all of this," Kenneth Jones said. "He was just the first one to help someone if they were down." 

One resident in the building at the time, Brian Gabriel, said he believes the alleged gunman also lives in the River West high-rise.

"A gentleman that lives in building rolled up 8th floor to the workout room, rolled up to a guy on the treadmill, shot him in back of the head, wheeled himself out of building," Gabriel said.

Aaron Snyder said he saw a man in a wheelchair arguing with another man on a treadmill over a girl, but though he "thought it was a joke." When he heard gunshots, he ran outside onto the pool deck, jumped over a fence and hid for 45 minutes.

"You go through a million things, don't know if someone is going to do a mass shooting or anything like that," Snyder said.

Witnesses and residents said the tense relationship may have stemmed from the suspect flirting with Joss' live-in girlfriend.

Another resident of the building said he lives on the 9th floor directly above the facility where the incident took place.

"Literally right underneath my living room is the cardio area of the workout facility where he was shot," Adam Ruetz said. "I heard a very loud bang. I knew it wasn't a truck or anything. A second, second and a half later, I heard another one."

Ruetz said he saw the suspected shooter shortly before the incident.

"I was on the amenities floor 5 minutes before it happened," Ruetz said. "I said hi to the shooter and he said hey, hey Adam how's it going. He seemed happy, he seemed normal, like he normally was. He was sitting in the common area with another lady."

Mike Salazar is another resident whose parking space is right next to the suspect. He said the man accused in the shooting had "always been a little after my wife in a way, always taking it a little bit too far."

"Where most people would stop with a simple flirt, you know, hi sweetheart, you look beautiful or something like that, [the suspect] would always take it a little further," Salazar said. "I never took it serious, wasn't anything more than that."

The suspect is expected to be charged soon and is set to appear in bond court Friday morning, Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. NBC 5 is not naming the suspect until he is charged.

A person who knows the suspect said he suffered a spinal injury from a shooting years ago, which led to him being in a wheelchair.

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