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Dozens Gather To Celebrate Life Of Keith Cooper, Vietnam Veteran Murdered In Hyde Park Carjacking

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Friday night dozens gathered to dance, sing and praise a Vietnam veteran murdered for his car, but the victim's daughter had a stern message to the accused teens.

Keith Cooper survived two tours in Vietnam but died in a Hyde Park parking lot Wednesday. It is also where family friends and even fellow veterans came out to salute him.

Friday was a celebration filled with music, dancing and kind words for the man who was clearly admired. Dozens remembered Cooper for his love of jazz and bowling and as a proud Vietnam veteran.

Ronald Price also served in Vietnam. He never met Cooper, but he considers them brothers bonded by their service

"We went into a terrible situation and we survived to come back. For a f****** car his life was taken? Excuse me for the language, but his life was taken for a car," Price said.

Eighteen-year-old Frank Harris and a 17-year-old are charged with his murder. Police say the pair tried carjacking Cooper. Harris is accused of punching Cooper in the head. Once they were unable to get inside the car, they ran away.

"This is not a first offense for him," said Cooper's daughter Keinika Carlton. "He needs to suffer the consequences. He has to. That's the only way he will learn, and I'm hoping he will learn."

Harris was out on probation. He was convicted in May for a carjacking last year. In that case he pointed a fake gun at the driver and got away with the driver's personal belongings and the car.

"You just did this and now you're back out doing it again. It makes no sense to me," said Carlton.

And Friday night, fighting back against the senselessness was Father Michael Pfleger marching near St. Sabina Church as he does every Friday in a weekly call for peace heading into the weekend.

"This violence is out of control in this city," he said.

Harris was in court Friday morning. The 17-year-old also arrested for Cooper's murder will make his first court appearance Saturday.

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