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Uber Driver Near Death After Being Shot In Cicero; Juvenile Suspect In Custody

CICERO, Ill. (CBS)-- One juvenile suspect was in custody late Tuesday, but three others remained on the loose after a young father and Uber driver was shot and left for dead in Cicero.

Cicero Police Chief Jerry Chlada said the 38-year-old Uber driver – identified by family as Joe Schelstraete - arrived at 23rd Street and 55th Avenue just after 7:30 p.m. Monday when he was approached by four armed offenders.

The victim was shot in the head, according to Chlada.

The assailants demanded money and the driver's cellphone, and he handed everything over. But they shot Schelstraete anyway.

He was taken to Loyola University Medical Center, where he was in critical condition. Chlada said although the driver has not been pronounced dead, it appears he was being kept alive on life support only until his organs could be donated.

As CBS 2's Jermont Terry reported, another driver was carjacked at the exact same intersection just three weeks ago. On that occasion, an Uber driver was pistol-whipped.

But family members said Schelstraete was left brain dead after he was shot in the head. He leaves behind three children, who learned on Tuesday that their father died on a job trying to provide for them.

Joe Schelstraete
Joe Schelstraete (Supplied by Family)

Chlada said it appeared the victim was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"He's a hard-working man, he has three young kids, and was just out trying to make a dollar," he said. "By all accounts that we can tell, he's just a hard-working guy."

The fact that the assailants shot Schelstraete even after he handed over everything has his family has been left in disbelief.

"There's many senseless factors of this tragedy, and that's one of them," said Schelstraese's aunt, Kim Bova. "They didn't have to kill him. He would have given them anything they wanted. But because of the unfortunate evil and wickedness of this world, they took his life."

After the shooting, witnesses gave police a description of the attackers, and officers set up a perimeter, and captured a juvenile suspect shortly after the shooting, Chlada said.

Police are still searching for the other three attackers.

Chlada said police are still investigating a motive for the shooting, but said a carjacking happened at the same intersection on May 11, and detectives are trying to determine if there's a connection.

MORE: After Uber Driver Is Shot And Left Brain Dead In Cicero Carjacking, Concerns For Rideshare Drivers' Safety Keep Growing More Serious

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