BY LEEANN SHELTON
A 17-year-old has been charged with murder for allegedly causing a vehicle crash and fatally shooting Chicago White Sox vendor Nicholas Ramirez last month in the West Town neighborhood.
The teen, whose name was not released because of his age, was charged with one count of first-degree murder and is expected to appear for a bond hearing Wednesday, police said.
Ramirez, 19, was stopped at a red light when the suspect intentionally accelerated into Ramirez’ vehicle in the 400 block of North Ashland Avenue about 2:30 a.m. April 19, authorities said. Police had said the two vehicles were involved in an earlier chase south on Ashland Avenue.
After the crash, the suspect got out of his car and shot Ramirez, authorities said.
Ramirez, of the 3900 block of South Rockwell Street, tried to drive away but hit two other vehicles in the 1600 block of West Hubbard before crashing into a concrete median, where he was found shot dead, authorities said.
An autopsy found Ramirez died of multiple gunshot wounds and ruled his death a homicide, the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.
Ramirez, a Chicago White Sox vendor, loved baseball and hoped to be an emergency medical technician, relatives said.
His uncle, Oscar Mendoza, described him as a “warmhearted” young man who “treated people well.”
“He was easygoing and always laughed things off,” Mendoza said. “People were drawn to his happiness.”
An unoccupied vehicle that may have been involved in the chase was later found in an alley in the 1400 block of West Grand Avenue, police said.
Police said the shooting could be gang related, but Ramirez’ family said he was not involved in any gang activity. Ramirez had no felony convictions but was sentenced to 10 hours of community service for drinking on the public way in April 2013, according to court records.
— Contributing: Emily Brosious