On Sunday, Douglass Watts was fatally shot in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood — then, less than 36 hours later, Eliyahu Moscowitz, was killed

By Christine Pelisek
October 05, 2018 07:01 PM

On Sunday, Douglass Watts, 73, was fatally shot as he was walking his two dogs around 10 a.m. in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood.

Less than 36 hours later, 24-year-old Eliyahu Moscowitz was also gunned down a few blocks away walking along the Lakefront Trail.

Both men were shot in the head. Neither had been robbed.

Now, Chicago police say testing has confirmed the two cases are linked by their bullets.

“Immediately we realized we were potentially dealing with the same person and definitely the same weapon,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tells PEOPLE.

Police have released a video of the suspected killer, shown wearing black pants, a black jacket and a black hat with a scarf covering most of his face.

He is described as walking with “duck feet,” his toes pointed out, police officer Michelle Tannehill tells PEOPLE.

The motive behind the fatal attacks is still unclear. However, police are not investigating the killings as hate crimes. (Watts was gay and Moscowitz, who was a supervisor at a kosher kitchen, was an Orthodox Jew.)

According to the Chicago Tribune, Moscowitz was shot on Monday, the same evening as the start of Simchat Torah, a Jewish holiday.

Footage of the suspected shooter in both deaths
Chicago Police Department

Guglielmi says the race of the offender is still unknown.

“We are classifying him as a dark complected individual,” he says. “We aren’t certain what race that could be based on the video.”

“It is concerning that this individual has gone to considerable lengths to conceal himself,” Guglielmi adds. “He is wearing a face mask. All we have is his physical appearance. So far, we don’t have any other leads.”

Since the release of the video, Guglielmi says investigators have received around 100 tips.

News of the killings has rocked the neighborhood.

“The community is very upset,” a spokesperson for the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago tells PEOPLE. “This was pretty much right out murder-assassination of two people minding their own business. This was not accidental. The concern in the community is still high.”

The spoksperson, who fears for his safety, says the organization is offering a $10,000 reward through Cook County Crime Stoppers for information about the shootings.

“It may help the police and may make it move faster,” the spokesperson says. “Everyone would be pleased were this to come to some conclusion quickly rather than to have it out there that there is a lunatic out there killing people.”

More patrols have also been added around the area, according to police.

“We have added teams of detectives, saturated the area with police personnel and tactical teams to stabilize the neighborhood,” says Guglielmi. “It is not a common occurrence where these killing took place and we have an individual out there who was targeting citizens at random, and that was extremely concerning to us.”

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Guglielmi says that, at first, investigators thought the morning killing of Wells could be a botched robbery, but police discounted the theory after they learned that his iPhone wasn’t stolen.

After that, “We began a very thorough investigation into his background,” Guglielmi says. “Was there anything in his background? Was he involved in anything?”

The focus quickly changed after the death of Moscowitz.

“That type of shooting was very similar to Mr. Watts’ killing and we immediately began to question the area where it occurred but also the manner of which the shootings occurred,” he says.

Moscowitz was an avid gamer in Chicago’s Pokemon Go community, his friend Angela Kallies told the Tribune.

Kallies told the paper that Moscowitz was hanging out with friends playing in Rogers Park just two hours before his death.

“He was standing there laughing, playing with my son,” Kallies said. “He was so nice, so friendly and never turned anyone down.”

Watts had been married since 2015 and lived with his husband and mother-in-law.

“He’s the nicest, sweetest guy in the world, and I want to do what I can to help,” friend Kirk Williamson told the Tribune.

Anyone with information about the shootings is asked to call detectives at 312-744-8200 or submit an anonymous tip online at www.cpdtip.com or contact Cook County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-535-STOP.