Sister of slain Chicago Bears fan shares grief

Police: Man slashed 42-year-old's throat in Jacksonville Landing restaurant

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William Pettry

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The body of a Chicago Bears fan stabbed to death at a Jacksonville Landing restaurant early Sunday morning is being delivered to his family in Illinois.

William Pettry, 42, was visiting Jacksonville to attend the football game against the Jaguars when he was killed at Fionn MacCool's Irish Restaurant and Pub.

Jacksonville police said 27-year-old Matthew Hinson (pictured below) pulled out a pocket knife and slit Pettry's throat.

Pettry's sister, Veronica Pettry, said in a phone interview Wednesday her family is still in shock over his death.

"He was a well-loved person and he would give the shirt off his back to anyone," she said.

For William Pettry's three young children, his death is absolutely devastating.

"I'm still waiting for my brother to come home or give me a call, and I know as an adult that's not going to happen, but I think for the kids it's a different story," Veronica said.

It's a story they will have to live with for the rest of their lives.

Investigators said Hinson apparently became jealous and enraged when he saw his wife talking with Pettry at the restaurant. They said he "calmly and cold-bloodedly" cut Pettry's throat, then walked out and drove away.

"This is the act of one person who made the choice to take away a father, a son, a brother, a cousin, a nephew, a beloved friend to many," Veronica said.

She said one man's actions are in no way indicative of the hearts and souls of the people in Jacksonville.

"We know that they are caring and loving people, that has been obviously shown to us over and over again with the outpouring of love and support that has come here all the way to Chicago," Veronica said.

For that support, she said her family is grateful during the most difficult time in their lives.

"They may have taken my brother's life, but they have not killed the loving spirit of our fellow human beings," she said.

Funeral arrangements for Pettry have not been finalized. The Bears organization is planning a fundraiser for Pettry's family on Saturday.

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