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Limo driver shot, killed on Chicago's West Side

Limo company colleagues remember driver who was shot and killed
Limo company colleagues remember driver who was shot and killed 01:48

CHICAGO (CBS) – A Chicago limo driver was murdered while working in the West Side's North Austin neighborhood on Sunday.

CBS 2's Shardaa Gray spoke to the family of the man – Mohammed K. Al Hijoj – on Monday. Family members said Al Hijoj was a husband, a father of three, and a well-known and respected driver.

Now, Al Hijoj's family is making funeral arrangements, as they say his life was cut too short.

"A normal person cannot hate Mohammed, because he's a nice person," said Kawkab Al Hijoj.

It's hard for Kawkab and Sadam Al Hijoj to think that someone murdered their brother.

"Mohammed was an amazing guy, you know? And nice to everyone," said Sadam Al Hijoj. "He had been doing good things to a lot of people."

"You can ask all of his neighbors, all of his family members - we love him," said Kawkab Al Hijoj. "He is a nice person."

Mohammed Al Al Hijoj Family Photo

A witness said Mohammed Al Hijoj was driving a car with four additional males inside around 5:36 p.m., in the 1700 block of North Lotus Avenue, when it came to a stop. Shots were then heard, and the four males exited the car and fled the scene, police said.

Al Hijoj, 39, suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the body and was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood in critical condition and was pronounced dead a short time later.

A handgun was recovered a few feet away from the car where the victim was shot.

A memorial with candles and his picture marked the scene Monday. His sister heartbroken at the thought of his family left behind.

"He has his son, he's 6 months - the youngest one. He's 6 months now. And his oldest one - he's now, I think 18 months," said Kawkab Al Hijoj. "He has a lot of dreams with his small family."

Al Hijoj's dream of getting his Ph.D. was cut short. His sister said he started a limo company seven years ago.

"To support himself – you know, he's studying," said Kawkab Al Hijoj. "He has his small family here, and he also takes care of my parents too."

Although her brother is gone, Kawkab Al Hijoj finds peace in her nephews and niece.

"When I look at his kids, I see him," she said. "So he's basically with us."

Family mourns limo driver who was shot and killed on Chicago's West Side 02:14

Meanwhile at Oreos Limo, the limousine company that Mohammed Al Hijoj – better known at work as Moe - helped start, his business partners still had a lot of questions. Their main concern at the Westmont-based company was why Al Hijoj was driving on Chicago's West Side.

"Who is going to feed his kids?" said Issa Shubash. "He was the only source for his family."

As CBS 2's Charlie De Mar reported, Shubash built Oreos Limo with Al Hijoj – his close friend.

"I know how he drives," Shubash said. "I know what kind of trips he takes."

But Shubash said he still doesn't know what brought Moe to the North Austin neighborhood.

"The last trip he took, he was at the airport," Shubash said. "The last time we spoke to each other, he was in Chicago - in the city - and then two hours later, we heard about, he's dead."

Al Hijoj is remembered and respected not only by his coworkers – but other drivers like Eli Soloman.

"It's this senseless, needless violence," Soloman said, "and it's this guy that meant so much to his family, so much to his friends, so much to the community."

"We go to work every day morning, and we don't know if we are going to come back alive," said Shubash.

 A funeral will be held at the Muslim Community Center, where a large crowed is expected. The family is planning to work with the Jordanian Embassy as his body will eventually be flown back to Jordan. 

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