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Crime & Courts

Chicago man charged with murder, armed robbery in shooting death of Downers Grove man

John Serpe remembered as 'good guy'

DOWNERS GROVE – John Serpe, the Downers Grove man shot to death last week in Chicago, was described by family as a die-hard football fan and computer tech who had appeared to be back on the right track with a new job.

Serpe, 44, of the 2900 block of Maple Avenue, was shot to death in the West Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago about 5:10 a.m. Feb. 9 in an alleged armed robbery.

Police charged Anthony Tucker, 41, of the 1400 block of South Canal Street, with one count of first degree murder, one count of armed robbery with discharge of a firearm and two counts of armed robbery with a firearm, the Chicago Police News Affairs Office announced Tuesday.

About 5:10 a.m. Feb. 9, Tucker allegedly approached Serpe as he sat in his vehicle in the 4500 block of West Monroe Street and announced a robbery. Tucker then allegedly fired a shot fatally striking Serpe in the chest as he attempted to flee in his vehicle, according to Chicago police.

Tucker then allegedly robbed a female passenger in the vehicle before fleeing. A third victim identified Tucker as the offender who robbed her at gunpoint just prior to the shooting, according to police.

Police responded to shots fired and found Serpe unresponsive in the vehicle. He had a gunshot wound to the left side of his chest and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Janel Sedevic.

Brother Joe Serpe said John had struggled with substance abuse problems but had just gotten a new job in tech support and appeared to be clean the last time he saw him.

John Serpe moved to Downers Grove to live his mother Toni Serpe about six months ago.

She last saw him just the night before, when he got off work and she cooked them dinner – hamburgers and french fries, she said.

Neither said they knew for fact what John was doing in the 4500 block of West Monroe Street the morning of his death.

"You know, he shouldn't have been where he was, and that's it," Joe said. "It's horrible."

Originally from Elmwood Park, John Serpe was unmarried and without children.

"He was just a good guy," Joe Serpe said. "It's sad to see a guy of that age check out that way. It's just one of the worst things."

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