VIDEO: Automobile enthusiast Eugene Matheny, 52, shot dead washing car in West Garfield Park, family said

Homicide Watch Chicago

Nearly two months after 52-year-old Eugene Matheny was fatally shot while washing his car in the West Garfield Park neighborhood, his family is still waiting for authorities to capture the person who killed the respected community member.

His daughter, La Gena Matheny, said her father had hundreds of friends and was respected by “street drug dealers and churchgoers alike.”

Eugene Matheny and a 53-year-old acquaintance were shot in an alley in the 4300 block of West Jackson Boulevard about 7:20 p.m. March 21, authorities said.

La Gena Matheny said her father was washing his car with a friend when a man pulled up in a maroon minivan, asked about some other people then opened fire and drove away.

Eugene Matheny, of the 4200 block of West Adams Street, was shot in the back and died at Mount Sinai Hospital less than an hour later, authorities said. His friend was shot in the upper left thigh and survived.

Matheny was shot in the back and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:55 p.m., according to police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

A 53-year-old man was shot in the upper left thigh and also taken to Mount Sinai, where he was listed in critical condition, police said.

The survivor was visiting from out-of-town and is now too “terrified” to return to the neighborhood, La Gena Matheny said. Nobody has been charged for the shooting.

“I know people know what’s going on,” La Gena Matheny said, “But they’re afraid to talk — they don’t trust the police.”

The community was shaken by Eugene Matheny’s death, La Gena Matheny said.

Eugene Matheny/ Family photo

Eugene Matheny/ Family photo

“Everybody knew him. He was a sweet man,” she said.

Eugene Matheny had worked at South Side factory that manufactured paint cans and retired last year as a supervisor after 30 years on the job, his daughter said. He was excited the MTV show “Pimp My Ride” once used paint cans made in his factory.

Eugene Matheny was an automobile enthusiast with three cars that he enjoyed washing and buffing himself in his retirement, his daughter said.

“We’re all praying for justice,” La Gena Matheny said. “We’ve been through so much recently and I’m just trying to keep it together.”

Her cousin, Artez McBride, was murdered in April when he was intentionally run over by an SUV.

Eugene Matheny/ Family photo
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