Cops: Gangs targeted teen boy
16-year-old slain near Little Village
| Tribune reporters
11:35 PM CST, January 16, 2008
Roky Uriostegui didn't want to be a gang member, and he didn't want to get beat up, either. So when the gangs at his high school last year harassed him, he transferred schools, instead.
"They were always asking him what gang he belonged to," said his cousin, Maria Melendez, 30. "He was in fear that he would get into trouble."
On Tuesday evening, the 16-year-old was returning to his Little Village home from a mall when he was shot three times and killed, police believe by suspected gang members. Police are looking for as many as three suspects.
Police don't know why Uriostegui was shot, saying he appeared to be targeted but could have been mistaken for someone else. He was not a gang member and had no criminal history, said Harrison Area Lt. Melissa Staples.
"I just don't understand how these things just keep happening in the neighborhood," said his mother, Antonia Macias, 50, through a translator.
A sophomore at Kelly High School , Uriostegui was shot about 7:45 p.m. at
West 23rd Placeand
Rockwell Street, a few blocks from his home in the 2600 block of
West 25th Street.
The suspects were in a red sport-utility vehicle and either one or two men got out of the SUV, Staples said. One fired at the teen, striking him in the head and armpit, police said. The suspects fled west on
23rd Place, police said.
Police said at least one witness said they heard words exchanged before the gunfire. Neighbors said there were several gang-related shootings in the neighborhood in recent days.
"We're uncertain what the motive is at this time," Staples said.
Police are reviewing video surveillance from the area, and are asking anyone with information about the vehicle or suspects to contact them. Nobody is in custody.
More than a dozen family members gathered at Uriostegui's home Wednesday evening after his mother completed funeral arrangements. Down the street, a small memorial of candles and plastic flowers had been placed on the sidewalk. A large blood stain remained in the street.
The middle child of three, Uriostegui was an average student, mostly Bs and Cs, who was trying to find a job to help his mother, who worked at a packaging plant, to pay bills, family members said. Uriostegui was helpful, a teen who shoveled snow, did yard work and carried groceries, neighbors said.
On weekends, he sometimes worked at a flea market on
43rd Street, and gave some of his earnings to his mother, said his cousin Maribel Arellano, 16.
While several relatives and friends said he transferred from Farragut Career Academy High School last year because gang members at the school harassed him, his mother knew only that he was being bullied by some students, she said.
A wake is planned for 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Zefran Funeral Home,
1941 W. Cermak Rd.A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at St. Roman Catholic Parish,
2311 S. Washtenaw Ave.
Police Say 16-Year-Old Shot, Killed Mistakenly
Teen Killed In Case Of Mistaken Identity, Police Say
POSTED: 6:22 am CST January 16, 2008
UPDATED: 7:12 am CST January 17, 2008
CHICAGO -- A 16-year-old was slain on the West Side Tuesday night in a possible retaliation shooting between rival gangs in the Little Village neighborhood, police said.
Roky Uriostegui, of
2651 W. 25th St., was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Hospital at 8:17 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. Police News Affairs said the boy was dead on arrival.
The shooting happened at about 7:45 p.m. at
2601 W. 23rd Place, News Affairs said.
Uriostegui was walking down the street when someone exited a red Jeep, approached Uriostegui and shot him in the head and armpit area, News Affairs said.
"They pulled up, and somebody got out and shot him," Harrison Area police said.
After the shooting, the gunman re-entered the Jeep and it fled west on
23rd Place, News Affairs said.
Police said late Wednesday that Uriostegui's slaying appears to be a case of mistaken identity.
Uriostegui suffered "a couple [gunshot wounds] to the head" and two or three gunshot wounds to the chest area, Harrison Area police said.
Harrison Area police suspected early Wednesday that the shooting was a case of mistaken identity, with the "innocent kid ... in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Relatives insisted that the boy was not a gang member.
Nearby residents expressed concern, telling Vatis that the neighborhood is "infested" with gangs.
Police also said that the shooting, which occurred on Satan Disciples street gang turf, may have been a gang retaliation between the Satan Disciples and the Latin Kings.
In Tuesday's shooting, the Latin Kings were reportedly shooting at the Satan Disciples in their territory after the Satan Disciples were shooting at the Latin Kings in the Kings' territory Monday, Harrison Area police said.