BY SAFIYA MERCHANT
Homicide Watch Chicago
Todd Coleman worked at the World’s Finest Chocolate factory for 18 years, but he never lost his “sweet tooth.”
The 54-year-old Englewood man was on his way to the Archer Heights neighborhood factory when he was shot to death outside his home in the 1200 block of West 72nd Place about 5:25 a.m. Oct. 28.
“Whoever did this, they took my best friend,” said Tyrone Lofton, Coleman’s oldest son.
Coleman had a strict morning routine that often included packing himself snacks before work, Lofton said.
“My dad was a big sweet tooth, so he packed potato chips, candy bars,” Lofton said. “Even though he worked at the candy factory, he still ate Mr. Goodbars, Snickers and things like that.”
Coleman was on his way to his job when he was shot dead, Lofton said.
Detectives are investigating robbery as a possible motive, but nobody is in custody, police said. Investigators told Lofton that when his father tried to run away the gunman shot him in the back and head, Lofton said.
“The way that they did him, I really can’t make sense of it because who have that much hate in him, that, you know, you got that mad that he tried to get away, that you kill him?” Lofton said. “But, you know, this is Englewood. It’s not new here.”
His father had already been shot once during a robbery in the 1980s, an attack that left him with a bullet in his chin, Lofton said.
“So he was fearful of guns and things like that,” he said.
Coleman had previously worked busing tables and at a parking garage. He had been working at the chocolate factory for about the last 18 years, Lofton said.
Coleman kept to himself and was never part of the street life, Lofton said. He loved to go fishing and liked “nice things.”
“My dad was a very fun and mild-mannered person,” Lofton said. “My dad was a person that stayed to himself. If you knew my dad, you really didn’t see him at all, he stayed by himself … he didn’t really hang out with nobody, so he didn’t drink, he didn’t smoke or none of that. He smoked cigarettes, that’s it.”
Lofton, the oldest of four siblings, had a very close relationship with his father his entire life.
“We was real close. Pretty much talked about everything,” Lofton said.
As Lofton sorted through his father’s possessions, he joked the process would have frustrated his “neat freak” father.
“If he’d seen this apartment right now, he’d probably go crazy,” Lofton said.
Police said detectives have few leads and are asking anyone in the community with information about the robbery and murder to call Area South detectives at (312) 747-8271.
— Contributing: Jessica Koscielniak
Photos by Jessica Koscielniak / Sun-Times