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Outpouring Of Grief At Vigil For Woom Sing Tse, 71-Year-Old Grandfather Shot To Death In Chinatown

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A prayer vigil was held Friday night as a community has been trying to heal, following the traffic murder of 71-year-old grandfather Woom Sing Tse in Chinatown this week.

Woom Sing Tse
(Credit: CBS 2)

Tse was on his way to buy a newspaper when he was shot multiple times and killed at 262 W. 23rd Pl., near Princeton Avenue, in broad daylight at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.

As CBS 2's Marie Saavedra reported, it poured rain during most of the vigil in Chinatown Friday night. But that did not keep the community from showing how they too were impacted by this violent tragedy.

Children at nearby John C. Haines Elementary School heard the gunshots at recess. Seniors are scared to walk alone.

And a family is without its patriarch.

Grief was expressed in two languages at the vigil.

"We are incredibly heartbroken over this horrific tragedy, and the grief has been immense," a man said at the vigil.

The loss of Tse was loss so public, one would understand if his children turned inward. Instead, they invited all of Chinatown to share in the man they loved - a man of determination.

"I had the opportunity to come here when I was a year and a half old on the backs of my mom and dad from China," said Tse's son, William Tse.

Tse also had unwavering commitment to his children and nine grandchildren, family said.

"And even on his last day, here, he was watching my firstborn," said daughter Carina Set.

He had a sweet sense of humor behind his smile, which he passed down.

"He loves all his three children very much, but secretly, I am his favorite!" said daughter Susan Lam.

Tse's family wants to keep the focus on remembering him, as so many wrestle with the question of why. Tse was on the very same block where the vigil was held when police said 23-year-old Alphonso Joyner drove up, fired 22 shots, and sped away from Tse's lifeless body.

There is no clear motive.

"I just want everybody to know that we are absolutely committed to safety in Chinatown," said Chicago Police Deering (9th) District Cmdr. Don Jerome.

There is a clear commitment from Chicago Police that no one should feel fearful to just *walk on a weekday afternoon. But the concern and pain was seen in each person holding a candle and bowing their head Friday night.

For many, faith is the only comfort to their unanswered question - that, and kindness in the face of a cruel world where a family man is taken for nothing.

"I implore everyone else to do better for those around you," said William Tse.

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