Judge calls grandfather’s Chinatown slaying during 22-bullet barrage ‘an execution,’ orders no bail for man charged

A beloved 71-year-old grandfather out for a walk in Chinatown was gunned down by a man who shot at him 22 times, including as he lay helpless on the ground, according to prosecutors, leaving his family demanding justice.

“This was an execution,” said Cook County Judge Maryam Ahmad before denying bail for Alphonso Joyner during a hearing that was audio-streamed live on YouTube.

Joyner was charged with first-degree murder, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a revoked firearm owner’s identification card in the death of Woom Sing Tse, who is being remembered as a great family man who lived the American Dream after emigrating from China 50 years ago.

After Joyner’s hearing, Woom Sing Tse’s son, William Tse, became emotional as he spoke about his father at the courthouse at 26th and California.

“I’m speechless,” he said. “We just want justice.”

Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said the shooting of Tse, who was walking from his home to buy a newspaper, was captured on multiple video surveillance cameras.

“Judge, I can’t give you a motive or why this happened. Sometimes individuals just do evil things and that’s the situation we have here,” Murphy said.

“We don’t have answers why,” William Tse said.

Tse died after being shot multiple times in the 200 block of West 23rd Place about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.

As Tse walked across Princeton Avenue, Joyner, who had been “circling” the area in a light blue car, began driving east on 23rd Place and stopped at a stop sign, Murphy said in court.

After Joyner cleared the intersection, he pointed a gun out of the driver’s side window and fired seven times at Tse, Murphy said.

Joyner then paused, drove the car a little closer and fired six more times at Tse, who appeared to cover his head and ears as his body “jerked and fell to the ground,” Murphy said.

Joyner pulled into oncoming traffic, parked the car and “calmly” walked over to Tse, who was on the ground “yelling.”

Joyner reportedly said: “Hey, hey,” then fired eight more times in “quick succession” and a ninth time before walking back to his car and speeding away, Murphy said.

Joyner was arrested 11 miles away on the Kennedy Expressway 66 minutes later, with a loaded “ghost gun” with an “extended magazine” tucked next to him, the same caliber as the casings found at the scene, , Murphy said.

Joyner appeared to be wearing the same clothes seen in the video and both his hands tested positive for gunshot residue. The light blue car was registered to him, Murphy said.

Assistant Public Defender Scott Kozicki said Joyner lives with his sister and has one misdemeanor conviction for unlawful use of a weapon in October. Kozicki said Joyner was innocent until proven guilty and had attended each and every one of his court hearings for the conviction.

Before denying bail, Ahmad said Tse was “doing something people do every day. Walk(ing) home.”

Woom Sing Tse moved to the U.S. from China about 50 years ago, said his son. The elder Tse retired nine years ago after working in a restaurant and had three children and nine grandchildren.

“My dad didn’t say much,” said William Tse, but he had been welcoming to anyone and everyone and could often be found preparing food for his grandchildren.

“I know my mom is missing him,” William Tse said.

Chicago police Superintendent David Brown spoke of Tse during a briefing announcing the charges against Joyner Wednesday night.

“He was a man who came to this country with a few dollars in his pocket, and with hard work and a determined spirit, he achieved the American Dream,” Brown said.

Brown also referred to Tse as a provider for his family, a father, grandfather, husband and member of the Chicago community.

“Yesterday his life was tragically ended in broad daylight in the Chinatown neighborhood by Joyner,” Brown said at the news conference.

Joyner, who lives the 1100 block of West 110th Place in the Morgan Park neighborhood, is due back in court Dec. 29.

Chicago Tribune’s Tatyana Turner and Sylvia Goodman contributed.