Fred Jakubowski was at his computer when he heard a woman screaming outside his Jefferson Park home about 5 a.m. Thursday and opened his door to see a man holding a woman down and slashing her.
"He's got something in his hand and he's going back and forth. I'm thinking, 'Does he have a cell phone?' " recounted Jakuboswski, 66. "Then it dawned on me and I screamed, 'I'm coming to get you.' "
As he ran down his steps, the man quickly got up and ran away. Jakubowski said he called out for his wife to get a blanket and pillow to put under the woman's head. He also called for his wife to call police and an ambulance.
"Her face was all full of blood, it looked like he punched her in the nose and broke her nose," he said. "That's when I saw her throat was slashed and her eyes were rolling."
The ambulance arrived and a paramedic checked her. "He looked down at her and looked at me and he just shook his head no," Jakubowski said. "He got on the radio and said crime scene now."
The woman, Maria Gonzalez, 39, died on the scene in the 4800 block of North Moody Avenue Thursday morning, officials said.
Police said they believe she may have been killed during a domestic dispute. No suspects were in custody.
Jakubowski described the man as about 5-foot-10, 225 pounds, wearing a black hoodie. He had a goatee and was wearing a red jacket, black sweat pants and white gym shoes. Another neighbor said he got into a red sedan and fled.
A neighbor said a man fitting the man's description was seen about 45 minutes earlier, walking up and down the block, Jakubowski said. He said he believes the woman had lived in a basement apartment for about a month and was on her way to Dunkin' Donuts to begin her shift Thursday morning.
Jakubowski, a retired city worker, said he grew up in the neighborhood and has always considered it quiet. A retired Chicago Police sergeant lives in the neighborhood.
Jakubowski, who served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, said he remembers seeing the coffins from the war everyday. "It's sad when you talk to somebody and an hour later you visit their body," he said. "To see something like this, its senseless. I was crying, I was kneeling down praying next to her it was really bad."
He said Gonzalez' family called him over to thank him for going to her aid and about her last moments.