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Family of Tyler Bernicky, slain son of fire department lieutenant, pleads for answers in his murder

Bernicky, 25, was found stabbed to death early Saturday on the South Side. He was the son of a 24-year veteran of the Chicago Fire Department.

Chicago Fire Department Lt. David Bernicky holds a photo of his son Tyler Bernicky at a press conference outside Chicago Public Safety headquarters on Monday. Tyler’s mother, Carolyn Hamilton, is at left.
James Foster/For the Sun-Times

With tearful eyes and shaking voices, friends and family members of Tyler Bernicky gathered outside Chicago Police and Fire department headquarters Monday afternoon to plead for information in the 25-year-old’s weekend murder.

“Just please, somebody, speak up,” his mother, Carolyn Hamilton, said.

“If someone out there knows something, we need to know,” added his father, CFD Lt. David Bernicky.

The body of Tyler Bernicky, of Bronzeville, was found about 6 a.m. Saturday in the 7900 block of South Ingleside Avenue in Grand Crossing when officers responded to a report of a burning vehicle in the block, according to Chicago police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

He was lying unresponsive on a sidewalk and pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. He had been stabbed twice in his chest, several times in the arm and hand and once in his ankle.

Tyler Bernicky, 25, was found stabbed to death Saturday on the South Side.
Tyler Bernicky, 25, was found stabbed to death Saturday on the South Side.
Provided

His father said he was in the neighborhood visiting members of his tight-knit family and working on cars — his passion — the day before he was killed.

Adam Gordon, Tyler Bernicky’s best friend of more than 20 years, described him as a kind and giving person who would help anyone.

“Anything you needed, he got it for you,” Gordon said. “Anything you needed to talk about, he listened. You needed help, he’d help you.”

Gordon said the two of them had plans to open up their own custom car shop.

“We were working on the plans each and every day,” Gordon said. “It’s pretty much something I have to fulfill by myself now.”

Anti-violence activist Andrew Holmes said a $10,000 reward is being offered for information in the case.

“It’s not about the reward, it’s about the person that knows the information,” Holmes said. “[Tyler Bernicky] was a father [who] should’ve been with his children on Father’s Day.”

David Bernicky thanked Holmes for assisting the family in the wake of his son’s death, as well as the homicide detectives assigned to the case.

He also offered his gratitude to CFD First Deputy Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt, whose own son, Blair Holt, was shot and killed on a CTA bus in 2007 while trying to shield a friend from gunfire.

Carolyn Hamilton and CFD Lt. David Bernicky, at a press conference outside Chicago Public Safety headquarters on Monday. Their son, Tyler Bernicky, was stabbed to death.
James Foster/For the Sun-Times