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60-year-old retired army vet tragically dies a week after being beaten during a robbery

Junie Sihlangu
Feb 14, 2019
01:56 P.M.
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On February 6, Keith Chamble was getting out of his car when multiple people approached him in his driveway and attacked him. The retired army veteran passed away a week after the assault.

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His son has spoken up addressing the criminals that stole his father’s car. Chamble had been on life-support when he died.

Keith Chamble, 60, was an army veteran and a retired correctional officer who passed away on Tuesday. According to the Hazel Crest police, he was attacked on the 16800 block of Orchard Ridge Avenue outside his home in south suburban Hazel Crest.

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The people who assaulted him stole his 2018 Nissan Rogue, but it was later discovered only a few blocks away. On Wednesday, the army vet’s granddaughter, Shanae Cross, revealed that her father was able to get back into his home after the attack.

She stated, “I don’t know how, but he must have summoned some inner strength to get himself inside.” He was found unconscious by his other daughter, Mary Cross, 19, at around 1 a.m. when she arrived home.

Shanae shared: “She called me screaming and panicking. I told her to calm down and she explained what happened.” Their father was taken to South Suburban Hospital, and later he was transferred to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

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The army vet, a father of four, never regained consciousness and passed away on Tuesday morning. Shanae, who is a South Shore resident, said she thought her grandfather was on his way home from a trip to the store to purchase lottery tickets when he was attacked.

She explained:

“He was never one to carry much money. But he liked to play the numbers and I think that’s where he was before [the attack]. He played everyday.”

His wallet and cell phone were also stolen in the robbery. Patrick Cross, Chamble’s son who lives in Texas, said his father was a good man who was well known and liked in his community.

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He said:

“He did like to play the lottery. He even hit the Lotto once, I don’t know how much, but it was enough to buy his house.”

Patrick added:

“I feel like I didn’t get a chance to know my father like I should have. We had a good relationship, but there were things we’d never spoken on that I would have liked to have talked to him about. I just want to ask [his attackers], was it worth it? To get nothing out of this? To have taken a life? For what?”

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Chamble had served in the US army for 12 years before getting his job as a correctional officer at Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill. He worked at the prison for more than 20 years.

Shanae shared:

“He loved his job. I’ve heard from several inmates and officers who worked for him. He was very well respected. How could someone do this to a man who served his county, who then protected his county? The inmates too, he kept them safe and cared for. Even though they were inmates he treated them with kindness. I can’t see why anyone would want to hurt him.”

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Mary said:

“My daddy is supposed to be there for prom and graduation and all this stuff coming up for school and it’s like y’all took that away from me.”

The family believes his attackers live in the surrounding area. His daughter addressed the attackers saying, “We won’t rest until we get justice. Someone knows who you are and what you did.”

Police have asked anyone with information to call Hazel Crest detectives at (708) 335-9640.

Last December, Richard Overton, 112, America's oldest World War II veteran and the oldest man in the US passed away. A family member, Shirley Overton, confirmed his death.

The army vet would’ve been 113 on May 11, he was hospitalized with pneumonia.

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