Fredell Bryant was in his South Side Chicago home, where he'd lived for 40 years, when he heard a knock at the door around 6 a.m. Sunday.
"We heard him ask 'Who is it?' at the door. No response," Ron Dean, Bryant's son-in-law, told NBC Chicago. "Then he said, 'Who is it?' real loud, nothing. And I guess he was going to open the door to see who it was and we heard two loud shots.
"When we got upstairs, that's when we saw him lying on the floor. He was unconscious. No response, nothing," Dean said.
Bryant was rushed to a local hospital with two gunshot wounds to his chest. He arrived in critical condition; police told the news station that the father of nine was pronounced dead later that day.
Bryant's family called the killing "senseless" and told the news station that the patriarch of their family was a retired construction worker and respected member of the community who didn't bother anyone.
"Everybody in the neighborhood loved him and knows him very well," Barbara Fuller, Bryant's sister-in law, told NBC Chicago. "I can't understand what's wrong with this sick world. Why would they just come kill a man like that? Why would they just take his life away?"
"He did anything for anybody," Tracy Hancock, Bryant's niece, added. "That's why he got up to open his door at six in the morning."
Police are searching for suspects, and the investigation into Bryant's death is ongoing, NBC Chicago reports.
Read more at NBC Chicago.