‘Nice guy’ pot dealer gunned down in Waukegan robbery
By Frank Abderholden firstname.lastname@example.org December 14, 2012 7:50PM
A missing section of carpeting removed for evidence during the fatal shooting of Randy Hardy, 47, at an apartment complex at 1603 Berwick in Waukegan. | Thomas Delany Jr.~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 13, 2013 1:40AM
WAUKEGAN — Three young men are in custody and were being questioned Friday after a robbery went bad at an apartment complex where a 47-year-old reputed marijuana dealer was shot dead. The victim was at home watching his 3-year-old daughter and baby son while his wife was at work.
Waukegan police said they caught two men shortly after the Thursday night shooting as they cut through Clearview Park, and a third suspect was picked up a few minutes later as he tried to shave his head at a female acquaintance’s house to alter his appearance.
One suspect is 21 years old and the other two, 19. The trio had not been charged as of press time.
The victim was identified as Randy Hardy, 47, who died at the scene from four gunshot wounds to the head and torso, said Lake County Coroner Dr. Thomas Rudd.
Waukegan Police Cmdr. Gabe Guzman said the three were planning to rob someone and one of the suspects suggested robbing the man he buys marijuana from. They met at an apartment in the 1700 block of North McAree Road where the leader showed the other two a handgun.
He told them that his marijuana dealer “is not going to go down without a fight,” Guzman said, quoting a statement from one of the suspects.
Guzman said the three walked across Clearview Park around 6:30 p.m. Thursday and made their way to the apartments at 1603 Berwick Blvd. They then went to the second-floor apartment and knocked on the door.
Police and witnesses said the leader of the group immediately pointed the gun at Hardy and he grabbed the gun. “Then they started fighting and one round went into the ceiling outside the apartment,” said Guzman.
The fight continued down the hallway to a small bend where Hardy was shot multiple times. The suspects fled and neighbors called police.
Gang Intelligence Unit officers were in the area and saw two suspects cutting back through Clearview Park and they took them into custody. The pair claimed they were just going to a female acquaintance’s apartment, so police went there and that was where they found the third suspect giving himself a haircut.
Police recovered the gun, gloves and other evidence. The three could face charges of first-degree murder, but charges were not expected Friday, said Guzman.
At the Berwick Boulevard apartment building Friday, neighbors said Hardy was well liked and a generous person known for helping people out.
“He’s a friend of mine,” said Willie Bacon Sr., 67, who owns a house a few blocks away. “He loved to cook and he loved to eat. He was a real nice guy, a good guy.”
A woman, who did not want to be identified because she was afraid, said her daughter saw the suspect put the gun to Hardy’s head when Hardy opened the door. She said he had his 3-year-old daughter and 6-month-old son inside the apartment with him and his wife was at work. “They had to call her at work,” she said.
“She was terrified,” she added. “Everyone in the neighborhood liked him.” She said Hardy would invite people to barbecue behind the apartment building. Two of her friends agreed and said it didn’t matter that he was dealing marijuana.
“He was a family man regardless of what he did,” she said while another woman said, “He was a great cook and always smiling.”
They said one of the murder suspects was a regular customer who is an alcoholic. “It’s sad, it’s sad,” said a third woman “Regardless, he was a good person. (His daughter) loved her Dad.”
One woman said she had the slug from the bullet that first hit the ceiling in the hallway at the beginning of the robbery and she was waiting for police to pick it up.