Community leader found shot to death inside Highland Park home

A 34-year-old man was found shot and killed in his own home early Thursday morning.

Courtney Cooper was shot in the head in his Grove Street residence in Highland Park around 2:30 a.m.

"This wasn’t right, this wasn’t supposed to go down. he’s a good guy," said Cooper's mother. "This is wrong, y’all need to stop the violence out here."

Courtney was a father — he grew up in this neighborhood and his friends say he was always looking out for others — especially the kids in his community.

"They looked at him as 'Uncle Cheese,' that’s what they called him," said a man by the name of Coach, who was a friend. "He was a father figure before he even had kids."

Coach, who did not want his face on camera, says Cooper was always lending a hand to his football team.

"He made sure the kids always ate when he saw them in the field," Coach said. "He made sure every kid had cleats. Courtney was a very good person."

Cooper's murder left loved ones gathered at the scene as state police evidence teams worked, stunned. His mother, who did not want to give her name, was distraught.

"He was a beautiful person," she said. "He loved animals, he loved people, he shared the wealth and he gives back."

She had a message to the killer of her son.

"It might not catch up with you today, but it will damn sure catch up with you," she said. "Y’all are gonna get it, don’t get it twisted."

If you have information on Courtney Cooper’s death, call 1-800-Speak-Up to leave an anonymous tip.