Civilian Chicago PD employee slain outside of home

Man was unloading groceries with his wife near his home when three teens on bicycles rode past and started shooting

By Grace Wong
Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — John Buckner worked 25 years as a civilian employee for the Chicago Police Department, and on Thursday some of the department's top brass gathered to talk about the "senseless" shooting death of a man "always willing to lend a helping hand."

"I would see him in and out of the building, and I would see him at my mother's church on Sundays because he did play the guitar," said First Deputy Superintendent Al Wysinger. "(He was) always smiling, always happy, always willing to lend a helping hand, and not only in his professional life, even in his personal life. Always being there in the church, just uplifting."

Buckner, 59, was unloading groceries with his wife near his home in Morgan Park when three teens on bicycles rode past and started shooting around 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, police said.

Buckner was shot at least twice in the abdomen. A second person, a 41-year-old man, suffered a minor wound to the ear.

Police said the shooting apparently stemmed from an earlier gang fight in a neighborhood park and they don't believe Buckner or the other man were the intended targets.

No one was in custody, but he said detectives were reviewing video from police cameras in the neighborhood and conducting interviews.

"You should be able to ... be able to take groceries out of your trunk in front of your home without worrying about getting shot," Wysinger said. "Always just a giving man."

Buckner, known as "Buck," handled police gear and did administrative work for the Police Department.

"It's terrible, it's heartbreaking," said Deputy Chief of Detectives Eugene Roy. "Here is somebody who has devoted his life, his professional career to the people of Chicago. ... It's senseless, it's absolutely senseless."

The morning after the shooting, Amelia Williams stood on her porch holding the day's mail and a burned-out cigarette, talking with a neighbor.

"He was just a very beautiful person," she said. "He was a member of the block club. Just beautiful people, you couldn't want better neighbors."

Williams had been in her house dozing off while watching TV when she heard the gunfire. It sounded like "gangbusters" just outside her window, she said. But it looked quiet outside and she wasn't certain anyone had been shot until a neighbor called and said, "Mr. Buckner had been shot."

"It's sad a man can't come home after a hard day's work and go inside his home with groceries without getting shot down before he can come in the door," she said. "We need to do something."

Copyright 2015 the Chicago Tribune

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Recommended for you

Copyright © 2022 Police1. All rights reserved.