Al Besst

Bridgeport Man Remembered as Kind, Generous After Being Killed by Stray Bullet Tuesday

A local man is being remembered as a caring and loving individual after he was hit and killed by a stray bullet in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood on Tuesday.

Alva “Al” Besst was a fixture at his church in the neighborhood, and his generosity shone brightly to everyone who knew him.

“He had been a member of our church council and our worship assistant on Sundays,” the Rev. Nicolette Penaranda of First Lutheran Church of the Trinity said. “It’s just horrific, considering he just lost his nephew. Just a lot of pain for his family.”

Besst was driving near 31st and Halsted at approximately 6 p.m. Tuesday when he was hit in the back of the head. Police do not believe that he was the target, and his shocking death has left heartache in its wake.

“That would’ve been the time he would’ve been stopping by the church,” Penaranda said. “This is really painful. Really hard.”

She says that Besst loved his Bridgeport community dearly.

“He loved this community. He grew up here,” she said. “He can tell you all the old stories about the old town.”

Revered in church and in the community, Besst was always working hard to help those in need, including with the church’s “God’s Closet” program, which donates meals and clothing to the community.

“It’s shocking for our community to see violence and murder,” 11th Ward Ald. Patrick Thompson said. “He was committed to making this community safer and better. It’s a tragedy that he was killed like this.”

There are no suspects in custody in connection with the shooting, and authorities are continuing to investigate the case.

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