Joyriding gang member slain; crash injures family

By Jason Meisner
Tribune staff reporter
Published June 5, 2007, 7:00 PM CDT

A 14-year-old reputed gang member joy riding in his uncle's van was fatally shot in the head when he ventured into rival territory on the South Side, Chicago police said Tuesday.

As shots rang out, the victim sped the van through a stop sign and was struck by another vehicle, flipping the van on its side, Police Officer Laura Kubiak said. Three occupants of the other vehicle were injured in the collision, she said.

The Cook County medical examiner's office identified the slain teen as Enrique Chavez, of the 4800 block of South Bishop Street.

Chavez, who was believed to be a La Raza street gang member, had taken his uncle's van without permission and was riding around with two friends when he drove into rival gang territory in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, Kubiak said.

The shooting occurred at about 1 p.m. Monday at 50th Street and Racine Avenue, Kubiak said.

Chavez was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital at about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to the medical examiner's office.

The teen's friends were not shot and escaped serious injuries in the crash, Kubiak said.

The occupants of the other vehicle—a 25-year-old woman and two children, ages 1 and 5—were taken to area hospitals but were not seriously injured, Kubiak said.