Sketch of gunman released in Gage Park auto shop fatal shooting - Fox 2 News Headlines

Sketch of gunman released in Gage Park auto shop fatal shooting

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Police are searching for two suspects in connection with murder of a Gage Park muffler shop owner who was killed during a robbery at his shop earlier this month.

Two men walked into Independent Muffler Shop at 5654 S. Western Ave. about 5:20 p.m. on Jan. 2, pretending to be customers but intending to rob the victims, police said at the time.

One of the suspects pulled out a .45 caliber blue steel semiautomatic handgun, announced the robbery, then shot and killed the 57-year-old man, authorities said.

Michael Kozel, of the 2700 block of West Seipp Street, died shortly after 9 p.m. at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. An autopsy later found he died of a gunshot wound to the back and ruled his death a homicide.

Kozel had owned the shop for almost 20 years, and would sometimes tell a customer who was a little short on cash to pay the balance later, his son told the Sun-Times after his death.

He was married for more than three decades and was the father of two grown children, according to his son, who didn't want his name used.

Kozel's murder was Chicago's fifth homicide of 2013.

Both of the suspects robbed the remaining victims in the store before fleeing south on Western Avenue, then west onto 57th Street, according to an alert issued Tuesday by Area Central detectives.

Authorities describe the two suspects as black men, between 18 and 25 years old. The shooter stands 5-foot-6, weighs 140 pounds and was last seen wearing a light blue jacket, and black stocking cap and dark denim pants.

The other suspect stands 6-feet and weighs 160 pounds. No description of his clothing was provided.

Anyone with information is urged to call Area Central Detectives at (312) 747-8380.

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