‘Beautiful day to get smoked,’ gunman allegedly said before fatal shooting

BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Criminal Courts Reporter

As he was readying to buy marijuana in the Back of the Yards neighborhood Tuesday, Angel Cano made small talk about the pleasant weather, according to Cook County prosecutors.

It’s “a beautiful day to smoke,” someone allegedly proclaimed to the 16­year­old purported Satan Disciple as they stood in a gangway. Then prosecutors said a rival gang­banger suggested the 80­degree temperatures were more suitable for another activity: “It’s a beautiful day to get smoked.”

Joel Batalla, a Latin Saint, continued to open fire, shooting Cano once in the torso in the 4300 block of South Paulina, Assistant State’s Attorney Amanda Pillsbury said. As Cano slumped over, Batalla, 17, shot him five more times in the head, Pillsbury said. Earlier, Batalla had allegedly learned Cano wanted to buy marijuana from him and another, then he led Cano, the other dealer and a third person through an alley and into a gangway where he told the group to wait. Batalla returned 10 minutes later and ordered the other dealer to buy “some blunts,” Pillsbury said. It was then Batalla allegedly shot Cano as he talked about the weather.

Batalla later wrapped the murder weapon with the shirt of the person he told to get the marijuana and then gave the gun to another to hold, Pillsbury said.

Batalla, who goes by the nickname “Gizmo,” was ordered held without bail Thursday for Cano’s murder.

The teenager who lives in the 2600 block of South Hillock has a pending weapons case in juvenile court.  Cano’s family declined comment following Thursday’s hearing, saying that they have received a lot of threats in recent days.

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