CHICAGO — The person who killed a 71-year-old man Tuesday in Chinatown calmly fired nearly two dozen shots at the victim in an “execution,” a prosecutor and judge said.
Alphonso Joyner, 23, of Morgan Park, has been charged with first-degree murder. He was ordered held without bail during a hearing Thursday.
Prosecutors said the gunman in the shooting was “calm” as he fired about 22 shots at the victim, Woom Sing Tse, continuing even as the elderly man lay on the ground, wounded. Tse was hit multiple times and pronounced dead.
“This was an execution …,” the judge said during the hearing.
An online fundraiser in Tse’s memory had raised more than $14,000 as of Thursday afternoon.
“Dad was a beloved husband, father and grandfather who deeply loved his friends and family,” Michael Set, Tse’s son-in-law and the fundraiser’s organizer, wrote on GoFundMe. “A dedicated family man, Woom Sing devoted his entire life to achieving the American Dream through grit, hard work and perseverance so that his family could prosper in peace.”
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 from his home to get a newspaper, wearing a face mask and with his jacket’s hood covering his head, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said. Joyner, in a light blue Toyota with tinted windows, was circling the area, with multiple license plate readers capturing the car before the shooting, Murphy said.
Joyner drove up to Tse and pointed a gun at the 71-year-old through a rolled-down window, Murphy said. Surveillance video shows the gun “recoiling multiple times” as Joyner fired shots; audio from the video recorded seven shots, Murphy said.
Joyner stopped, drove forward a little bit, then pointed his gun out the window and fired another six shots at Tse, Murphy said.
Surveillance video appears to show Tse covering his head and ears, but his body jerked forward and he fell to the ground after being hit, Murphy said. Joyner then pulled into the lane of oncoming traffic and parked his car, the prosecutor said.
Video shows Tse was laying on the ground, calling out, Murphy said.
Joyner got out of his car and walked up to Tse, saying, “Hey, hey,” Murphy said.
Joyner “calmly” walked up to Tse, stood beside the man and fired another eight shots at Tse “in quick succession,” Murphy said. He then fired another shot at Tse and “turned and calmly walked back to his” car, the prosecutor said.
Joyner got into the car and drove off, Murphy said.
Tse was hit multiple times in his forehead, the top of his head, his right hip, the back of his neck and his right temple, Murphy said. He was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Investigators found a total of 18 fired shell casings at the scene but think Joyner fired about 22 shots at Tse, Murphy said.
License plate readers captured Joyner’s car in the area before and after the shooting, and there are multiple surveillance videos of the slaying, Murphy said.
Officers looking for the gunman found the car on the Kennedy 66 minutes after the shooting and 11 minutes from where Tse was killed, Murphy said.
Joyner was the only person in the car when police stopped him, and a loaded gun with an extended magazine was found tucked beside the driver’s seat, Murphy said. Testing showed the bullets used to kill Tse were from the gun.
The gun is a “ghost gun” made with random, mixed parts and without a serial number, Murphy said.
The car Joyner was in had a “ding” to its door, and surveillance video showed the car the gunman was in had the same damage, Murphy said.
And when Joyner was stopped, he was wearing the same clothing as the gunman wore as seen in surveillance video, Murphy said.
Joyner was convicted of unlawful use of a weapon in October and was sentenced to two days in jail, Murphy said.
Prosecutors pushed the judge to deny bail to Joyner, saying he could face a life sentence in this case.
“The fact that the defendant calmly gets out of his car, … walks up to the victim and fires several more shots at the victim as he was laying on the ground, helpless,” led to the no-bail request, Murphy said.
Public defender Scott Kozicki, who was representing Joyner, said officials can’t be sure of who was in the car during the shooting, noting it had tinted windows.
Murphy said that while officials may not know how many people were in the car during the shooting, they “certainly know [Joyner] was,” noting Joyner was arrested while wearing the same clothing as the gunman shortly after the slaying, he was the only person in the car then and the gun used to kill Tse was in the car.
Joyner also had gunshot residue on his hands, Murphy said.
Prosecutors “proffered multiple instances where this defendant fired at a victim who is doing something that people do every day: walk home,” the judge said. “This was an execution that the people described.
“… The court finds the evidence overwhelming at this juncture that this particular defendant is a real and present threat and danger to the community.”
Joyner will next appear in court Dec. 29.
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.”
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