Out for a walk on Simchat Torah, 24-year-old Eliyahu Moscowitz was murdered Monday night in Chicago’s Rogers Park, by a masked gunman. Moscowitz’s killing came only 36 hours after another Chicago resident, 73-year-old Douglass Watts, was shot and killed, also by a masked gunman.
On Tuesday the Chicago police department revealed that the same gun was used in both shootings. Watts was gay and Moscowitz’s traditional Hasidic garb made him identifiably Jewish. But on Wednesday a police spokesman said that detectives investigating the case believed that a hate crime was “not probable at this point.” Police are still seeking a motive for the killings.
Moscowitz grew up not far from where he was killed. He moved to Israel after high school and lived in Jerusalem while attending the Mayanot Institute for Jewish Studies. After returning to Chicago he worked as a kosher supervisor at a local grocery store. He belonged to a prominent family in Illinois’ Chabad community. A cousin, Rabbi Zelig Moscowitz, described him as a wonderful, very kind, gentle, caring person … someone who uplifts others.” For fun, Eliyahu enjoyed playing Pokémon Go with friends who knew him as Ellee. Shiva for Moscowitz began Wednesday at his family’s home.