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Chinatown Vigil For Residents Shot To Death During Robbery Attempt

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A huge show of support in Chicago's Chinatown Wednesday night for two murder victims.

Hundreds came out for a vigil honoring the two men killed in a robbery attempt.

CBS 2's Mike Puccinelli reported Wednesday from South Wells Street near Tan Court, where the two men were gunned down and where the vigil was held.

Huayi Bian, 36, and Weizhong Xiong, 38, were shot and killed early Sunday morning.

It was a brutal robbery attempt that has rocked this community to its core. On Wednesday night through song and spoken word, including a call for justice and punishment in Chinese, those that knew and loved the two men gathered just feet from where they were gunned down at about 2:15 a.m. Sunday.

They were joined by hundreds of people who didn't know them, but felt compelled to be at the vigil as a show of solidarity with the grieving families.

Police said both men were shot dead by Alvin Thomas in a botched robbery turned double murder.

The 20-year-old was seen on video trying to get away just minutes after police said he put bullets in the heads of both men.

The men hadn't been home to china in years and leave behind family members in their native country.

So, now the community is rallying to raise funds to send the bodies home to China.

"We are stunned by the suddenness of this violence which reminds us of the slender thread which separates life from death," said Dr. Andrew Lee of the Chinese Christian Union Church. "We pray first for the families of the victims. May you grant them strength to weather this time shock, grief and mourning."

There was a short but heated discussion between community members and Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) who said he vowed to work with the mayor and police to determine how safety can be increased in the community.

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