BY SUSAN DU
Homicide Watch Chicago
Evanston resident Alante Vallejo graduated high school less than a week before he was fatally shot in the Rogers Park neighborhood Friday night.
Vallejo, 18, was shot in the chest about 1:45 p.m. Friday in the 1900 block of West Howard Street, authorities said. A second man, 20, also wounded in the shooting.
Police found Vallejo, of the 200 block of Ridge Avenue in Evanston, lying in the street, authorities said. He died less than an hour later.
Area North detectives are investigating if the shooting is gang related, but Vallejo’s friend said the Evanston Township High School graduate “ain’t that type of guy.”
Jodeci Johnson, 18, met Vallejo through a mutual acquaintance, and the two quickly became friends. The pair played video games and pickup basketball, ate at Jamaican restaurants and gave each other advice about girls.
Vallejo grew up in Evanston, where his parents and sister still live, Johnson said. He was a Bulls fan with a generous wit that made people laugh.
“He’s a mellow person, very cool, respectful, a person who’s cool to hang around with and talk to,” Johnson said. “He was like a brother.”
Vallejo mostly kept to himself and was good at keeping his cool, Johnson said. He preferred small groups to large crowds so he could prioritize the needs of those closest to him, he said.
Johnson recalled a time when he sought Vallejo’s advice on what to do about an argument with a girlfriend. Vallejo urged Johnson to just relax and let his relationship run its natural course.
“He said that we just had to take some time from each other, that stuff’s all in the air,” Johnson said. “When you come back to the person, you know that’s the person for you. Leave her for a little bit and come back, that should you if she’s the right one or not.”
Vallejo didn’t talk about his religious views, but the rosary tattooed on his chest spoke for itself, Johnson said.
“He kept out of trouble. He was looking out for himself, planning his future when he got out of high school,” he said.
Nobody has been charged for the murder.