Filipino Sri Lankan LGBT advocate shot dead in Chicago
CHICAGO — A Filipino Sri Lankan man was shot to death early Saturday morning, Dec. 11 while waiting outside a home on Chicago’s Palmer Square.
Friends of Suraj Mahadeva, 26, said he was shot dead execution-style by an unidentified gunman who is still at large.
More than a hundred people mourned Mahadeva during a Thursday night Dec. 16 vigil, remembering him as a warm and steadfast LGBTQ advocate.
As CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported that Mahadeva, whose first name means rising sun, was passionate about his Sri Lankan and Filipino heritage.
Mahadeva, who was also a volunteer swim instructor, has a degree in neuroscience and worked as a medical clinician.
Chicago Police said Mahadeva was standing at around 3:30 a.m. on Saturday on the porch of a friend’s home near the intersection of Albany and Dickens avenues in the Palmer Square neighborhood when someone shot him.
A friend of his heard the sound of gunshots, and found Mahadeva with a wound to the head. He later died at the hospital.
The friend thinks that while Mahadeva was likely the victim of a random crime, the brutal nature of the shooting could also mean he was targeted.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe has been started, and Mahadeva’s family is expected to have a memorial in the coming days in the Detroit area.