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Alexander, aka Sasha, Peckler, c 1937

I remember my great-uncle Sasha Peckler as a serious, mild-mannered kind of a guy. He was a pharmacist who established his own drug store on 5736 W. Grand Avenue in Chicago. The very last person I would think of as owning a gun, much less using one.

But a story from the Garfieldian shows that my assumption was wrong. Sasha and his family lived in an apartment above the drug store. One Wednesday night in late April, 1944, Sasha heard a strange noise. He grabbed his gun, dashed downstairs, and fired a shot through the glass pane of the door. He was a good shot, too – apparently hit the presumed burglar in in the ear. The shooting victim – John Peter Skoczwinski — claimed he was walking innocently by when Sasha fired. The police had him taken to the hospital, but there was no further follow-up that I could find.

I’ve tried to track down other documents related to John Peter Skoczwinski. I found a John P Skoczynski of the right age in the 1930 US Census. His family was living at 2122 N Austin – less than half a mile away. But there is no sign of John in the 1940 census or in any other documents, other than one who died in Chicago in 1934, 10 years before the alleged burglary attempt took place.


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