Police have opened a homicide investigation after a fatal assault last week in south suburban Chicago Heights.

Officers were notified at 5:20 p.m. on Sept. 7 that 42-year-old Jose Rodriguez suffered a head injury and, about 16 hours earlier, had been brought to Franciscan St. James Health in Chicago Heights, according to Chicago Heights police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

He had a skull fracture and brain trauma, police said.

Rodriguez was airlifted to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead at 3:33 p.m. on Sept. 8, police and the medical examiner’s office said. An autopsy Tuesday determined he died of complications of closed head injuries he suffered in an assault. His death was ruled a homicide.

Investigators believe the attack happened in the rear alley of the 100 block of East 23rd Street. Rodriguez, who lived about a block away, “was targeted and this was not a random act,” a statement from police said.

“Leads are being followed up at this time,” police said.

Anyone with information on the assault is asked to contact the Chicago Heights Detective Division at (708) 756-6422.