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Bridgeport, Chinatown, McKinley Park

Man Charged With Murder Of 71-Year-Old Man In Chinatown Was Arrested Within An Hour Of Shooting, Police Say

Woom Sing Tse was fatally shot Tuesday near Wentworth Avenue and 23rd Place. Police say they arrested someone quickly after the slaying because of quick involvement from neighbors.

A Chicago Police squad car on June 30, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHINATOWN — A 23-year-old man has been charged with murder in what police called a “tragic, brazen” shooting of a 71-year-old man walking to the store in Chinatown this week.

Alphonso Joyner, 23, of Morgan Park, was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder. Police said Joyner killed Woom Sing Tse.

The shooting happened about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday near Wentworth Avenue and 23rd Place, and it was caught on surveillance video, police said.

Tse was walking along the street when someone in a blue car pulled up, Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said at a news conference. The driver of the car, whom police said was Joyner, fired at Tse several times but did not hit him, Deenihan said.

“You can see how startled he is,” Deenihan said of Tse.

Still in the car, the driver fired several times again, hitting Tse, who fell to the ground. The driver got out of the car, walked over to Tse and shot him several more times, Deenihan said.

The driver then “casually” walked back to his car and drove away, Deenihan said.

Tse was taken to Stroger Hospital and pronounced dead.

Supt. David Brown and Deenihan credited neighbors for helping officers find Joyner in “just a few minutes,” Brown said.

The Chinatown community watch group called 9th District Cmdr. Don Jerome within minutes of the shooting, Brown said. The Chinatown Chamber of Commerce immediately turned over critical surveillance video to help detectives get the license plate for the car.

District officers then tracked the drive backed up in traffic on the Kennedy Expressway and arrested Joyner. Officers found a gun with an extended magazine in the car, Brown said.

“They helped us bring this offender to justice,” Brown said. “Though the family is grieving Mr. Tse’s tragic loss, we hope this arrest and charges that were brought bring them a measure of closure to know that the person responsible has been taken off the streets of Chicago.”

A motive remains unclear. Deenihan said Joyner made no statements to police after he was arrested.

Asked if police thought Tse’s murder could have been linked to other recent unsolved shootings, Deenihan said detectives are comparing notes to see if there are any connections.

“Detectives from the North Side have already reached out to these detectives, and we’re comparing everything we possibly can from those cases to this case or any other case that may appear to a random act of violence,” Deenihan said. “We don’t know at this time but we’re definitely investigating that based on what happened here.”

Tse’s family told the Sun-Times he came to the United States from China 50 years ago. Starting as a cook, he owned restaurants in suburban Dundee and Downers Grove before settling into retirement in Chinatown.

Tse’s son told the paper his father had just finished having lunch with his wife at home and was going to the store to buy a newspaper when he was shot. Tse was killed near Haines Elementary School, where his daughter is a teacher.

“He was a man who came to his country just with a few dollars in his pocket, and through hard work and a determined spirit, achieved the American Dream,” Brown said. “Mr. Tse built a home and provided for his family. He was a father, husband, grandfather, a man of the community, a Chicagoan.”

Joyner is due in bond court Thursday.

“Not only is a family grieving the tragic loss of their loved one, but an entire community and nearby school filled with children are impacted by what happened yesterday,” Ald Byron Sicgho-Lopez (25th) said in a statement. “It’s going to take all of us together to get past this cycle of violence ravaging our city and we have no time to waste and no more lives to lose.” 

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