By SAM CHARLES
Chicago Sun-Times Wire
17-year-old Jeremy Salinas was shot to death while retrieving his stolen bicycle Wednesday night in the Bridgeport neighborhood, according to witnesses at the scene.
Salinas was shot about 8:35 p.m. in the 900 block of West 32nd Place, according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
Salinas, who lived in the 1200 block of West 31st Place, was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:55 p.m., authorities said.
Witnesses said he was retrieving his bicycle, which had been stolen earlier in the day, when he was shot. The teen was with four other people when he was shot, one witness said.
About three dozen people gathered on the east side of the intersection of 32nd Place and Halsted, many crying and saying they were friends or family of the dead teen. Nearby fireworks could be heard every few minutes.
A group of about 12 people became upset with police as investigators processed the scene, asking why the teen’s body was not taken away by an ambulance and instead left at the scene.
One officer gathered them on the northeast corner of 32nd Place and Halsted, and told them emergency personnel could not have saved him.
“When you see that ambulance not make a move, it’s because they can’t do anything. Whatever happened has happened. We can’t change it. It’s not that we’re not doing anything; we’re trying to do something,” he said. “If you know more to the story than we know, then please step forward and say something.”
Detectives are investigating whether the incident was gang-related.
Wednesday night’s homicide was Bridgeport’s third since May 22.