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Police release photos of suspects in killing of 70-year-old woman remembered as familiar face of Hegewisch neighborhood

Yvonne Ruzich was parked in her car in the 13300 block of South Baltimore Avenue when two males approached and fired shots, Chicago Police said.

Police say these two males fired on 70-year-old Yvonne Ruzich early Monday, killing her in the Hegewisch neighborhood.
Police say these two males fired on 70-year-old Yvonne Ruzich early Monday, killing her in the Hegewisch neighborhood.
Chicago police

Dozens of people attended a vigil Monday evening for a 70-year-old woman gunned down earlier that day in Hegewisch on the Far South Side, hours before police released photos of the two suspected shooters.

Yvonne Ruzich — known by family as “Grandma Jo” — was parked in her car around 4:30 a.m. in the 13300 block of South Baltimore Avenue when two male gunmen walked up and fired shots, Chicago Police said.

Ruzich was seated in her car, speaking with someone in another car before reporting to work at Baltimore Food & Liquor Store. Surveillance video shared with media outlets show the gunmen approached from behind and opened fire as Ruzich drove away.

She was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn and pronounced dead.

Around 200 family, friends and community members gather for a vigil for Yvonne Ruzich outside Baltimore Food & Liquor Store in the Hegewisch neighborhood, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. Ruzich was shot and killed earlier this morning in the 13300 block of South Baltimore Ave.
Around 200 family, friends and community members gather for a vigil for Yvonne Ruzich outside Baltimore Food & Liquor Store in the Hegewisch neighborhood, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. Ruzich was shot and killed earlier this morning in the 13300 block of South Baltimore Ave.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Ruzich retired after working 25 years in the Department of Streets and Sanitation, but continued working in Hegewisch, reporting early for work at Baltimore Food and Liquor for more than a year and a half, Police Commander Robert Rubio told the crowd at the vigil.

Ruzich was also a familiar face in the neighborhood, Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th) said.

“How many of us came here in the morning for coffee and she was in there?” Sadlowski Garza said.

“Please, there’s someone out there who knows who this is... Say something. We can’t let this go on,” she said.

Ruzich’s daughter, Karla Ruzich, pleaded for the public to turn in the shooters.

“Whoever you are out there took her from her grandbabies. And you should be ashamed of yourselves. And anyone hiding your dirty little secret out there right now should be ashamed of themselves,” she said.

A woman sits in front of a memorial set up for Yvonne Ruzich outside Baltimore Food & Liquor Store in the Hegewisch neighborhood, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021.
A woman sits in front of a memorial set up for Yvonne Ruzich outside Baltimore Food & Liquor Store in the Hegewisch neighborhood, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Police said one suspect wore all-black clothing and a black face mask. The second person wore a light-colored hooded sweatshirt, light pants with black shoes with white soles and a light-colored face mask.

Police asked anyone with information to call Area 2 Detectives at (312) 747-8271. Anonymous tips can be submitted to www.cpdtip.com.

Community activist Andrew Holmes said he put up a $2,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the shooters.

Contributing: Tyler LaRiviere