Two killings, two days, same gun: Crime spree shakes Rogers Park – Chicago Tribune

The back-to-back killings in Rogers Park seemed to be as random as they were brutal: an elderly man walking his dogs just steps from his home on Sunday and then, barely 36 hours later, a young man walking blocks away on the Lakefront Trail near Loyola Park. Both were shot once in the head, left for dead.

But police on Tuesday confirmed what for many residents was their worst fear: The same gun was used to shoot both men, most likely by the same gunman. Just about every other detail remains a mystery.

What is clear is that the killings of Douglass Watts, 73, and Eliyahu Moscowitz, 24, have shaken the neighborhood known for its diversity, prompting Mayor Rahm Emanuel to urge residents to use caution as they go about their daily lives.

“To all the residents of the Rogers Park community, your city is standing with you, supporting you, at this moment,” Emanuel said at a news conference. “I know firsthand the Rogers Park community is strong, is resilient and is a supportive community. We need those core values and the Police Department needs those core values at this time.”

When Moscowitz wasn’t working at the Jewel, he was an avid gamer in Chicago’s Pokemon Go community, said his friend Angela Kallies.

She said she was with Moscowitz just two hours before the shooting, hanging out with a group of friends playing Pokemon in Rogers Park by West Pratt and North Ridge boulevards.

“He was standing there laughing, playing with my son,” Kallies said. “He was so nice, so friendly and never turned anyone down.”

Moscowitz liked to wear bright T-shirts in red or orange and could often be seen riding his bike along the trail by Loyola Park, a popular area to find the game’s characters, Kallies said.

Another friend from the Pokemon Go group, Chris Hart, said Moscowitz was kind and generous and approached the game with a spirit of cooperation.

Watts was steps from the home where he lived with his husband and mother-in-law on Sunday when he was returning from a walk with his two small dogs. Some witnesses saw the man dressed in all black approach Watts and shoot him in the head.

Watts married his husband in 2015 following a civil union ceremony in 2011, according to a friend, Kirk Williamson.

“He’s the nicest, sweetest guy in the world, and I want to do what I can to help,” Williamson said.

Police are asking anyone with information about the shootings to call detectives at 312-744-8200 or submit an anonymous tip online at www.cpdtip.com.

echerney@chicagotribune.com

jgorner@chicagotribune.com

mabuckley@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @ElyssaCherney

Twitter @JeremyGorner

Twitter @Mabuckley88

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