CHICAGO — As police hunt for a man suspected of shooting two men dead in back-to-back nights near the lakefront in Rogers Park, the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago is offering a $10,000 reward.
“These murderous attacks are reverberating throughout the Jewish, LGBTQ and the broader communities,” JUF/Federation President Steven B. Nasatir said, “and we are determined to do whatever we can to aid the community as well as law enforcement’s efforts to apprehend whoever is responsible.”
The attacks killed an Orthodox Jew and a gay man, although there has been no indication their identities had anything to do with them being targeted. Authorities have said there is no known motive, including robbery.
The JUF/Jewish Federation reward is being made via Cook County Crime Stoppers. Anyone with information can call their hotline number at 1-800-535-STOP. All calls to Cook County Crime Stoppers will remain anonymous.
The victims were killed Sunday morning and Monday night, just blocks apart from each other near Lake Michigan.
At 10:20 p.m. Monday, Eliyahu Moscowitz, 24, was shot in the head near the lakefront trail at Lunt Avenue.
The day before, 73-year-old Douglass Watts was shot dead while walking his dogs just blocks away in the 1400 block of West Sherwin Avenue, police said.
He had been shot once in his head just after 10 a.m.
“We believe the individual lives in this community,” Chicago Police First Deputy Supt. Anthony Riccio told a crowded, emotionally charged room of residents at the at the Loyola Park field house Wednesday night.
“He’s somebody’s neighbor,” Riccio said.
The suspected killer, who was seen on multiple surveillance cameras, walks with “duck feet” — his toes pointed out, Riccio said.
“Someone in this room probably knows this guy,” Police Sgt. Shawn Sisk said.
Riccio said there is “no obvious motive” nor is either victim believed to be connected to any organized crime, which makes it an “extraordinarily unusual homicide.”
“Our concerns were realized when the lab said conclusively it was the same gun” in both shootings, Riccio said.
Riccio said that the case has the full attention of the police department, and there are more than 40 detectives assigned to it, which he called “not unprecedented, but extremely rare.”
Additionally, Riccio said some officers assigned to the Jason Van Dyke trial contingency plan will be redirected to Rogers Park. He said police have deployed gang and drug task forces, local officers and undercover officers in nontraditional cars, like minivans, uncommonly associated with police work.
Federal assistance is being provided to police from the FBI and ATF.
Officers are aggressively canvassing the area, knocking on doors and asking homeowners and businesses for their camera footage.
Police have described the killer as a tall black man with a thin build. He wore dark clothing and a dark mask over part of his face.
Police have urged anyone with information to come forward. Tips can be reported to www.cpdtip.com or at 312-744-8200.