Stephen Peters loved his prized Mustang. Originally black, he had it painted cherry red.

“Red was his favorite color for the Mustang – with gold and silver rims,” said his good friend, Starlisa Chavers. “That was his baby. His Mustang was his pride and joy. He won awards for it and everything.”

On the day after Thanksgiving, Peters, a 43-year-old Forest Park resident, discovered that his beloved car had been broken into while parked in his mother’s garage on the 8100 block of South Burnham on the Southeast Side of Chicago. He called the police to report the burglary. Chicago Police Officer Michael Flisk responded to the call at approximately 1:30 p.m., police said.

Soon after, gunshots were heard and the two men were found in the alley with gunshot wounds, according to Chicago police. Both men died.

A 19-year-old Chicago man has been arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder, police said. The offender, Timothy Herring, of the 8100 block of South Manistee, was reportedly the same person who broke into Peters’ car on Friday morning. Herring went back to the scene of the burglary later that day to retrieve car parts that he stored in nearby trashcans, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. When he saw Peters and Flisk standing in the alley, he shot and killed the two men and then fled. Police arrested Herring on Saturday.

Police believe a second man acted as an accomplice in the homicide. Timothy Willis, 22, of the 8300 block of South Crandon, has been charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm and one count of obstruction of justice.

Peters’ father told the Review he was “very, very glad” the killer had been caught. He and other family members declined to comment any further.

Chavers had just called Peters the Wednesday before he died to catch up. She said that he recently had knee surgery and was expecting to go back to work at the end of December. He worked as an engineer for AT&T. According to police, he was also a retired Chicago Housing Authority officer.

Chavers described Peters as a generous and outgoing man.

“He was a real good person,” she said. “Whenever I got into a jam, he was always there. He helped me through a lot. I’m going to miss him.”

Peters – nicknamed “Superman” – loved the Superman logo and had it displayed throughout his car, Chavers said.

“His belt buckles even had Superman logos, everything,” Chavers, 33, said.

Chavers also said that he never swore. “He never felt like he had to use profanity to get his point across,” she said. “He was just really nice and really friendly.”

According to his Facebook page, Peters wrote that he was “always smiling” and could “find something positive in any situation.”

He also wrote: “I have a Great Sense of Humor because life is short so I enjoy every minute of it as I can so if it ever does happen that I’m injured beyond repair I can and will honestly be able to say that I’ve done all the things that I wanted to do before it was too late for me to enjoy them.”

Flisk, a 46-year-old father of four, worked as an evidence technician and served with the Chicago Police Department for 20 years.