‘Lost his life after he served four years for his country’: Father mourns slain Army veteran


CHICAGO — Alfredo Benitez says he deeply holds the memories of his son, Jason.

Jason Benitez was walking his dog at around 1:15 Tuesday morning in the 3400 block of W. 30th Street, just a few blocks away from his residence, when he was shot and killed.

The Army veteran was 30 years old.

“Everything comes to my head because I need to find out who did it,” Jason Benitez told WGN News at the site of his son’s murder. “He didn’t deserve this. He was a great kid.”

Jason Benitez had returned home to Chicago from a tour in South Korea.

“My son lost his life after he served four years for his country,” he said. “This is how we repay him.”

His father said it wasn’t strange for his son to walk his dog at random hours since he sometimes had trouble sleeping.   

Since returning to the city, his father said Jason worked various jobs. Most recently, the military veteran was hired at a downtown steakhouse.

“He loved cooking. He loved to eat a lot,” his father said. “I don’t know where he would put it all.”

According to his father, Jason was very family-oriented and served as a role model to his nieces and nephews. 

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“He loved his nephews a lot. That was his joy. His mother passed away five years ago. He was the role model of the whole family,” he said.

Jason Benitez was fatally shot in the face. His father pointed out bullets lodged in a window frame at the scene, which he believes are from the shooting. But while police have yet to announce an arrest in the case, Alfredo Benitez hopes anyone with information will come forward.

“A message to the parents, come on. You know where your son is. You should know what your kids are doing, and if you know what they’re doing, do something about it,” he said. “My son doesn’t deserve to be another cold case. We need to solve this as soon as possible.”

A GoFundMe for funeral expenses has raised over $4,000 as of this writing.

Services for Benitez will take place Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Heritage Funeral Home, located at 3117 S. Oak Park Ave. in Berwyn.

Anyone with information about the shooting may leave an anonymous tip at

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