A Lockport man was shot and killed early Friday in a drug sale double-cross allegedly orchestrated by his business partner, Cmdr. Al Roeschner said.
Sean D. McGinn, 39, of Lockport, and Jermain Bennett, co-owners of Team Joliet KO Zone, a boxing club and training gym at 218 E. Cass St., had a deal arranged in which they were to purchase a "large quantity of cocaine" from a third party, Roeschner said.
However, Bennett double-crossed McGinn by setting up a staged robbery in the area behind the Cass Street gym, he said. McGinn was shot twice and died at the scene, and Bennett then removed a "large amount of money" from McGinn's vehicle, Roeschner said.
Bennett, 38, of Joliet, has been arrested and charged with murder, drug conspiracy and theft. Police are in the process of looking for other suspects involved in the shooting, he said.
Bennett is the son of famous boxer Joe Bennett, a seven-time Golden Gloves champion and one-time member of the U.S. Olympic boxing team. Bennett's son, Javonni, is an aspiring boxer who won state, national and world boxing championships in 2010.
Joe Bennett declined to comment on his son's arrest Friday afternoon.
Friends described McGinn as a devoted father, friend and coach who was committed to getting kids off the street by giving them a different outlet at the gym. A sign at the club reads, "Drop the Guns, Put on the Gloves."
Duane Stanford said he knew McGinn as the manager of the Lockport Vipers, the baseball team for whom Stanford's 12-year-old son played.
On several occasions, McGinn invited team members to join him at the gym.
"He had them come over not for the baseball team, but just to connect with them, just to bond with them," Stanford said. "I'd become very attached to (McGinn) because of the way he was with the kids."
Stanford, who learned of McGinn's death at about 9:30 a.m. when a McGinn family member texted Stanford's wife, said team members were devoted to McGinn, who led them to a championship tournament in Cooperstown, N.Y., just this summer.
"When we told our son (about McGinn's death), he just dropped to his knees," Stanford said.
The baseball tournament victory had to be bittersweet for McGinn, he said, given that McGinn's own son was unable to play this season due to a "rare stomach illness." At Cooperstown, they saw photos of another of McGinn's sons, who had been a star youth baseball player.
McGinn, who was divorced, had been planning to travel this weekend with his girlfriend and two other couples to an out-of-town wedding of a former co-worker he knew from working at in Joliet, Jameson's manager George Cosmas said.
Cosmas said he remained friends with McGinn even after he left the restaurant about a year ago, and said McGinn had dropped by just last week to visit. McGinn's girlfirend still works there, he said.
"He was just a good guy," Cosmas said. "He was an energetic, friendly guy. He was a good employee as well as a good friend."
McGinn was a native of the Lockport area who attended Joliet Junior College and owned Celtic Green Landscaping in Lockport.
Stanford described the 6-foot-2 McGinn as a teddy bear. "He was as calm as they come. ... I don't think he had a mean bone in his body."
Cosmas added that he was devoted to his children.
"He loved to spend time with his kids. He was always working two or three jobs to make sure they had what they needed."