BY MICHAEL LANSU
Homicide Watch Chicago Editor
Three men were fatally shot and a fourth was stabbed to death in homicides throughout Chicago last week.
Detectives ruled two of the killings self-defense and classified them as justified involuntary manslaughter, police said.
The most recent killing happened late Friday when 22-year-old Francisco Rufino was killed in the 1800 block of West 19th Street in the Pilsen neighborhood, authorities said.
Rufino and a 28-year-old man were in a westbound vehicle when they were shot about 10:30 p.m. Friday, authorities said. Rufino, of the 1800 block of West 17th Street, died at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County at 3:19 a.m. Saturday, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
The other man was taken to University of Illinois Hospital with a gunshot wound to the arm, police said.
Earlier in the Pilsen neighborhood, a resident fatally shot alleged burglar Mario Viramontes during a home invasion in the 2000 block of West 21st Street about 9:10 a.m. Friday, authorities said. Viramontes, 31, of the 2100 block of West Cermak Road, was dead at the scene, according to the medical examiner’s office.
Detectives determined the shooting was self-defense and ruled the killing a justified involuntary manslaughter, police said.
On Wednesday, 19-year-old Tevin Bryant was shot dead in an apartment in the 700 block of East 79th Street about noon, authorities said.
Bryant was inside the apartment with a group of people when somebody shot him in the head, authorities said. Bryant, of the 7900 block of South Greenwood Avenue, was dead on the scene, according to the medical examiner’s office.
A 20-year-old man in Bryant’s group was also wounded, police said.
The killing started last Tuesday when 38-year-old Danny Melendez was stabbed in the leg during a fight in the 2300 block of North Cicero Avenue, authorities said.
Melendez, of the 5300 block of West Irving Park Road, died at 1:20 a.m. Thursday at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, according to the medical examiner’s office.
Police initially took a 31-year-old woman into custody, but she was released without being charged after the death was also ruled self defense, police said.
Chicago Police reported 20 killings in January 2014, a 50 percent decrease from the first month of 2013. The decrease happened in a month that had 11 days of subzero temperature and was one of the coldest months in recent years.
The Cook County medical examiner’s office, which classifies killings different, ruled 23 Chicago deaths homicides. Three killings ruled involuntary manslaughter by Chicago Police, including Viramontes and Melendez.
In the other manslaughter case, 52-year-old Joeann Smith fatally shot 65-year-old relative Willie Smith at her South Shore home during a Jan. 8 argument about whether the gun would fire, authorities said. She was charged with reckless discharge of a firearm.