By MAUREEN O’Donnell, ASHLEE REZIN and JORDAN OWEN
Jesus Angel De La O lived in northwest suburban Vernon Hills, but always had a strong connection to Chicago, and that is where he died early Thursday when he refused to turn over his vehicle to a carjackers in the Noble Square neighborhood on the North Side.
The 28-year-old was dropping off a female acquaintance in the 1200 block of North Greenview about 2:05 a.m. when another man exited a white vehicle nearby and attempted to carjack him, according to Chicago Police.
When he refused to give up his gray Infiniti, the suspect fired, striking him in the torso, police said. De La O tried to drive away, but crashed into a parked Nissan.
He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. An autopsy showed he died of a gunshot wound to the chest.
No other injuries were reported.
“We’re optimistic that there’s some private [surveillance] video that could have captured the incident,” Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.
Justin Dolan told Network Video Productions that he was about to go to sleep when he heard gunshots and ran outside.
“I heard ‘boom boom’ and I thought, oh, that’s something serious,” Dolan said.
He saw another couple who had just been dropped off run over to the car, but quickly return, saying the man already was dead.
“I thought it was a safe neighborhood,” said Dolan, adding he moved to Chicago two months ago and had “no problems at all until tonight.”
De La O, a native of Huitzuco de los Figueroa, Mexico, was a gradaute of Vernon Hills High School and City Colleges of Chicago. He had worked in the laundry service industry, both as a technician and a supervisor, and also owned City Cycle scooter rentals in Chicago.
A GoFundMe page set up to help the family with funeral expenses had reached its $5,000 goal in just one day.
Jade Vallejo, who created the page, wrote of De La O: “Jesus was a beloved brother, son, boyfriend, and friend to many people. … A failed car jacking in the Noble Square neighborhood of Chicago has left many loved ones in disarray and confusion.”
Visitation will be Monday 3-8 p.m. at Kolssak Funeral Home at 189 S. Milwaukee Ave. in Wheeling, with private cremation service to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to the family.