Former correctional officer shot to death on South Side

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A former Cook County correctional officer was shot to death early Wednesday during an attempted robbery in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood on the South Side.

Ira Cotton, 56, was standing on a front porch in the 7400 block of South Ingleside about 12:10 a.m. when someone walked up to him and demanded his car keys before shooting him in the left leg, according to police and the Cook County sheriff’s office.

Cotton was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was later pronounced dead, authorities said.

Police said his vehicle was not taken. No one is in custody for the shooting.

Cotton worked as a correctional officer between 1983 and 2004, a sheriff’s office spokeswoman said.

“Officer Cotton gave 20 years of his life to serving his community and making Cook County a safer place,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “Sheriff Dart joins his friends, family and former Cook County Jail colleagues in mourning his tragic death.”