CPD employee shot to death remembered as a 'giving man'

FOX 32's Craig Wall contributed to this report.

CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - A 59-year-old civilian employee of the Chicago Police Department was killed in a shooting Wednesday night in the Morgan Park neighborhood on the Far South Side.

John W. Buckner was unloading groceries from his car near his home in the 11500 block of South Church about 8:45 p.m. when three males rode by on bicycles and opened fire along the block, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Buckner was shot in the abdomen, and was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead at 10:25 p.m., authorities said.

Buckner was a civilian employee of the CPD and was assigned to the general support division, according to police. He had worked for the department for 25 years.

"God we need people to open their mouths and tell what's going on,"

Neighbors rallied together Thursday night in a show of support, praying for Buckner's family and that police would catch the killers. Police encouraged people to sign up to help.

"You're signing up to make a difference in this neighborhood," said Chicago Police Chief Deputy Eugene Roy.

Police are reviewing video from a nearby Blue Light Police Camera to see if it could help identify the shooters.

"At this point the shooting appears to be completely random, we have no reason to believe that these two gentlemen were the intended targets," said Police Chief Deputy Roy. "It's senseless, it's absolutely senseless."

Neighbors said Buckner was always helping people out and was known for his gardening. They can't believe what happened.

"It hurts, I cried, prayed, I was angry last night. I had so many emotions I didn't know what to do with them," said friend Shelia Thompkins.

Buckner, who worked out of police headquarters, was well liked and respected there.

"Here's a man, Buck as we all knew him, but outside of his professional life people didn't know that he actually played the guitar at my mothers church. So I knew that side of him, always just a giving man," said First Deputy Superintendent Al Wysinger.

Another man, 41, was standing on a front porch on the same block when he was struck by gunfire. He taken to Christ Medical Center, where he was listed in serious condition, police said. Buckner and the man weren’t together at the time the shooting and were randomly struck by the shots.

Police said neither man was the intended victim of the shooting. Area South detectives are currently investigating.