Smith addresses Pettry's death
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith opened his Monday news conference by expressing sympathy to the family of a suburban Chicago man who was killed early Sunday morning after traveling to Jacksonville for the game against the Jaguars.
"Like we talked last week, our fans were outstanding," Smith said. "As I said yesterday, from the hotel and of course throughout the game, we had a lot of people who came down to support us. Chris Pettry was one of them, one of our loyal supporters that was killed as he came to Jacksonville to support his favorite team. So our prayers definitely go out to his family."
William Christopher Pettry, 42, of Lake Villa, Ill., was stabbed at Fionn MacCool's, an Irish restaurant and bar at the Jacksonville Landing area, and later pronounced dead, according to a news release from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. Jacksonville resident Matthew Hinson, 28, was arrested for the crime.
Jacksonville homicide detective Lt. Rob Schoonover said Monday that the altercation was not based on any football rivalry.
"Our suspect ... showed up, his wife was there with another friend, and for some reason, (Hinson) became jealous, enraged, whatever you want to call it and approached our victim, and according to one of the eyewitnesses calmly and basically cold-blooded just cut the victim's throat and calmly walked out of the restaurant," Schoonover said. "A few minutes later, police were in the area, they pulled his truck over, found the knife, found him, he resisted a little bit, and they had to put him to the ground. Took him into custody, he was brought down here, was interviewed, and he admitted to the stabbing."
Schoonover said Hinson didn't explain his motive.
The victim's wife, Karen Hunt Pettry, posted about her husband's death on her Facebook page Sunday:
"Today my husband William Christopher Pettry (Most of you only know him by Chris) was taken from his family way to early. Some idiot has taken his life. Im so mad, just don't understand why, very lost right now. Please hug the ones you love because you never know if tomorrow you will have that chance."
ESPNChicago.com's Scott Powers and Jon Greenberg contributed to this story.