WEEK IN REVIEW: 12 people killed in Chicago violence; four more possible victims await autopsy results

Homicide Watch Chicago

At least twelve people were killed in violence in Chicago this past week, and that number may rise by four.

The most recent murder occurred late Saturday in the East Garfield Park neighborhood, where 25-year-old Elbert Harris was found with multiple gunshot wounds at 10 p.m. in the 500 block of North Avers, Chicago Police said.

Farris, of the 800 block of North Latrobe, was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.

Earlier Saturday, a two-vehicle crash in the Loop left 20-year-old Jose Luzianos Jr. dead and 18-year-old Ivan Sanchez charged with reckless homicide and aggravated DUI, according to police.

The crash, involving a BMW and a Jeep, occurred on westbound Lower Wacker Drive near Garvey Court about 4:20 a.m. as the two friends were drag racing after a night of drinking, police said.

The BMW struck the Jeep, fishtailed, then ran into a concrete barrier. Luzianos, of the 1500 block of West Hollywood, was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he later died, according to police and the medical examiner’s office.

Sanchez, of the 1500 block of West Bryn Mawr Avenue, was also taken to Northwestern Memorial, where he was listed in good condition, police said. On Monday, he was ordered held on a $150,000 bond.

Only about 20 minutes earlier, Jemel O’Brien was found shot and killed inside a vehicle in the South Side Englewood neighborhood.

Officers discovered the 29-year-old in the 7400 block of South Eggleston, slumped over the wheel of a car with gunshot wounds to the arm and groin, according to police and the medical examiner’s office. O’Brien, of the 400 block of West 75th Street, was pronounced dead at the scene.

About 1 a.m. Saturday, a North Lawndale neighborhood shooting left 25-year-old Charzelle Harris dead and an 18-year-old man injured.

They were in the 3500 block of West Grenshaw when a light-colored van pulled up and someone inside opened fire, according to police and the medical examiner’s office. Harris was shot several times in the chest and arm; and officers later learned the 18-year-old was grazed in the same incident.

Harris, of the 3000 block of West Flournoy, was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead 20 minutes later.

On Friday, a murder suicide on the Northwest side left three family members dead and a community in shock.

Roberto Cervantes shot himself in the head after killing his brother Joel Cervantes and father Jesus Cervantes, according to autopsies.

According to police, at about 5:25 p.m., officers performing a well-being check at the home in the 4600 block of North Kostner found three men unresponsive. Jesus Cervantes, 72; Roberto Cervantes, 38; and 29-year-old Joel Cervantes were dead at the scene, the medical examiner’s office said.

Autopsies showed Roberto Cervantes shot himself in the head, and his death was ruled a suicide. Joel Cervantes was found with multiple gunshot wounds, while the eldest Cervantes had an incise wound to his neck. Their deaths were ruled homicides.

Neighbors said the father, his wife and his daughters had lived in the home for a few years. The medical examiner’s office confirmed the three men lived in that block.

At about 1:40 p.m. Friday, 22-year-old Vallan K. Francis was standing outside in the 2000 block of West Arthur when a male suspect rode by on a bicycle and opened fire, authorities said. He suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the torso and leg, police said.

Francis, who lived on the same block as the shooting, was taken to Presence Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston, where he was pronounced dead less than an hour later, the medical examiner’s office said.

Detectives are investigating whether the shooting was gang-related.

Earlier Friday, Manuel Arizaga was on his way to work when he was shot in the Irving Park neighborhood, less than a block from the home he shared with his wife and baby girl.

Police said that the 34-year-old was found shot in the head in the 3600 block of North St. Louis at around 4:40 a.m. Officers at the scene said the shooting may have been a robbery gone wrong and Arizaga didn’t show any signs of being a gang member.

Jose Neri was killed in shooting that also resulted in another teenager being critically wounded Wednesday evening on the North Side.

Neri and the younger boy, 15, were in the 6100 block of West Fullerton in Belmont Cragin when a gunman walked up and shot them, police said. Both teens were taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, police said.

Neri, of the 2900 block of North Normandy, was pronounced dead at 6:30 p.m., according to the medical examiner’s office. The other boy was listed in critical condition early Thursday.

Dimarkiss Scott was fatally shot in the Austin neighborhood late Wednesday.

Scott was involved in an altercation with another person before midnight on the 1300 block of North Lockwood. The other person pulled a gun at some point and repeatedly shot Scott, according to police and the medical examiner’s office.

Soctt, who lived on the same block, was pronounced dead at 12:17 a.m. Police are investigating whether the shooting might have been gang-related.

Hours later, another man was shot to death in the same neighborhood about 7:50 p.m.

The 21-year-old was outside in the 4900 block of West Hubbard when someone riding a bicycle shot him several times, police said. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he later died. He has yet to be identified.

Abel Ruvalcaba was shot to death Monday morning in Little Village.

The shooting occurred around 4:30 a.m. when the 21-year-old, a passenger in a vehicle in the 2400 block of South Sawyer, was struck in the chest by bullets fired by someone the sidewalk, according to police.

Ruvalcaba, of the 2200 block of South Spaulding, was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital where he died.

While relatives of a mother and three children found in a burned building in Chatham are convinced they were homicide victims, officials have yet to make that determination.

Autopsies were inconclusive Monday for the four people, found dead and decomposed in a home in the 8300 block of South Drexel Avenue after not having been seen for a week.

Chicago Police found the bodies at 8:25 p.m. after a neighbor reported a bad smell. Relatives told the Chicago Sun-Times the bodies were those of Latoya Jackson, 27, and her three sons: Andrew, 11; Cameron, 9; and Cantrell, 5.

On Monday, the medical examiner’s office confirmed Latoya Jackson’s identity, but said further tests are required to confirm the identities of the children.

Autopsies performed Monday did not rule on the cause and manner of their deaths, with results pending further investigation, the medical examiner’s office said.

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