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Vendor Killed By Man Seeking Free Ice Cream

July 7, 1985

CHICAGO (AP) _ A man demanding free ice cream shot and killed a self-employed ice-cream vendor who was working on a South Side street with his son, police say.

Authorities said Enos Conard, 49, was selling ice cream from his truck with his son Troy, 20, late Saturday when two men approached.

One of the men told Troy Conard, ″I want some ice cream, and I don’t have no money,″ said Officer Robert Cornfield.

The elder Conard apparently heard the remark, ran to the back of the truck and was shot once in the chest, Cornfield said.

Conard staggered back to the truck’s cab and tried to drive away, but the vehicle jumped over a nearby curb and came to a stop, still playing a series of jingles, police said.

The men escaped as Troy Conard pleaded with shocked passers-by to get help and administered first aid to his father.

Nearby, Pealie Gray, 42, was in the kitchen of her house when she heard what she first thought was a firecracker. Then there was a pounding on her door, and she opened it to find a hysterical Troy Conard.

″The victim’s son was telling me, ’My father’s been shot, my father’s been shot 3/8‴ she said Sunday. ‴Will you please call the police? Will you please call the police?‴

She alerted authorities and went back outside.

″I walked around and took a look at his (the victim’s) shirt. It was bloody, and he was lying back in the seat, breathing regular but slowly,″ she said. ″He didn’t talk.

″His son was trying to give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, which didn’t seem to help,″ Ms. Gray said.

″You’ll be all right,″ she said the younger Conard told his father.

Conard was taken by ambulance to Roseland Community Hospital, where he died less than an hour later, police said.

Sunday, police were searching for two men between the ages of 20 and 30, said Officer Martin Ryan.

″It doesn’t look like gang activity,″ he said. ″This is a fairly good neighborhood, quiet, residential.″

Police theorized that the gunman may have thought Conard was approaching them with a weapon.

Troy Conard told police his father had sold ice cream in the area for five years without any previous trouble. ″He always wanted to own his own business,″ the son told police.