Community gathers to remember 1 of 2 men fatally shot in Rogers Park

CHICAGO -- A memorial was held Thursday evening to honor one of the two men who was fatally shot in the Rogers Park neighborhood.

The community gathered inside Congregation B’nei Ruven Thursday night in memory of 24-year-old Eliyahu Moscowitz, who was fatally shot in the head on a pedestrian path in Loyola Park  on Oct. 1. Just 36 hours earlier, on Sept. 30, police said the same gun was used to kill 73-year-old Douglass Watts who was also shot in the head at close range in the 1400 block of West Sherwin Avenue.

"He can never be erased," Rabbi Yona Reiss, Chicago Rabbinical Council, said. "Not by a masked gunman nor by any other force.  The impact of such an individual is ever lasting and inextinguishable. We mourn Moscowitz but also celebrate his legacy."

Moscowitz worked at Jewel-Osco, preparing the Kosher food in the store and was an avid bicyclist and loved to travel, as well as play Pokémon GO. Those who knew him said he was a sweet and caring person.

On Oct. 3, police released surveillance video of a masked person suspected in the two homicides. Police published footage from Sept. 30 of a person dressed in all black and a ski mask walking towards the 1400 block of West Sherwin Avenue, where Watts was shot in the head, and additional footage of the suspect fleeing down an alley.

Residents have been urged to use caution until the killer is found, but that also means people are staying inside more. Sales are down at many of the Rogers Park businesses because people are afraid to go out.

Many groups that have popped up on social media where people can meet up and walk together. While working with 49th Ward Ald. Joe Moore, area businesses reached out to Lyft, which agreed to give Rogers Park residents 50 percent off two rides booked through their app. The rideshare company even picked up costs of printing the coupons, which will be available in Moore's office starting Thursday.

"I wanted to do something that could help them that would give residents a feeling of safety," the alderman said.

Police said they’ve saturated the area with additional officers. Forty detectives are now devoted to the investigation and the FBI and the ATF are assisting.

A community meeting was held last week and police said they have no doubt the suspect lives in the area where the killings occurred. They said he may kill again and said if anyone thinks their approach to the situation is too aggressive, they are not apologizing.

“There’s a guy loose who has just murdered—executed—two citizens who were law-abiding citizens, minding their own business, walking down the street. So, yeah, I'm gonna say the officers are doing exactly what we want them to do right now," First Deputy Supt. Anthony Riccio, said.

The Jewish United Fund offered a $10,000 reward for information that leads police to the person who fatally shot the two men. Community activist Raul Montes Jr. is also offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.

No one is in custody and the investigation is ongoing.

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