Homicide Watch Chicago
Ja-Quez Williams wanted to become a police officer to stop the violence in his Austin community, his family said.
The violence Ja-Quez, 17, longed to stop took his life before he ever got that chance when he was fatally shot in the head in the 5500 block of West North Avenue about 2:05 a.m. April 26, authorities said.
“He was a beautiful, vibrant person — full of life,” said his grandmother, Inez Williams said. “It was a senseless thing, I really don’t understand. No children should be gunned down like cattle.” Read more
Dashawn Johnson was a quiet high school student who would get loud to sell candy bars in the hallways of his school to make money to support his young daughter, friends said.
Dashawn, 17, was shot in the jaw Saturday night near his home in the 9300 block of South Ada Street in the Washington Heights neighborhood, authorities said. He died at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn the following evening.
A junior at Harlan Community Academy High School, his classmates remembered him as a friendly young father who avoided drama and mostly stuck by his girlfriend’s side.
“It was unexpected,” 16-year-old Tracie Vaughn said of Dashawn’s death. “He kept to himself. When you did see him, he’d be smiling, talking to his friends in the hallway or with his girlfriend.” Read more
Cesar Nieves‘ family and friends remember the father of four as a caring, big-hearted man whose primary motivation was the well-being of his children.
During an anti-violence march through the Little Village neighborhood last Friday, Nieves’ girlfriend and 10-year-old son joined community members in a moment of silence at the site of his murder.
Nieves, 34, was fatally shot about 3:25 a.m. May 10 on the corner of West 28th Street and South Kedvale Avenue. He was dead at the scene and several people told officers they recognized Nieves because the hat “he wears every day” was laying next to his body.
His girlfriend, Imelda Torres, watched the police investigation from afar with family members. Read more
Nearly two months after 52-year-old Eugene Matheny was fatally shot while washing his car in the West Garfield Park neighborhood, his family is still waiting for authorities to capture the person who killed the respected community member.
His daughter, La Gena Matheny, said her father had hundreds of friends and was respected by “street drug dealers and churchgoers alike.”
Eugene Matheny and a 53-year-old acquaintance were shot in an alley in the 4300 block of West Jackson Boulevard about 7:20 p.m. March 21, authorities said.
La Gena Matheny said her father was washing his car with a friend when a man pulled up in a maroon minivan, asked about some other people then opened fire and drove away.
Eugene Matheny, of the 4200 block of West Adams Street, was shot in the back and died at Mount Sinai Hospital less than an hour later, authorities said. His friend was shot in the upper left thigh and survived.
Matheny was shot in the back and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:55 p.m., according to police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. Read more
A stay-at-home mother who brutally beat her 3-year-old daughter to death lied to police, telling them that the child stopped breathing following a home invasion at her Northwest Side apartment, Cook County prosecutors said.
Paramedics found Ashley Mendoza on the kitchen floor Sunday night with visible injuries to her forehead, bruising on her hands and legs, scrapes and abrasions on her neck, Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Mack said.
But there was no blood on the girl or near her body.
On one side of the street, an elderly woman cooed to a toddler in a stroller Monday morning.
On the other, a death investigator’s sticker sealed the door to an apartment where Ashley Mendoza once blew kisses to her daddy from her window.
Inside that second-floor Northwest Side apartment, investigators searched for clues after 3-year-old Ashley was found dead there Sunday night. Police were questioning a person of interest in the case Monday.
An autopsy Monday found that Ashley died of multiple injuries from child abuse, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Her death was ruled a homicide. Read more
A wounded Alex Garrido climbed into the driver’s seat of his brother’s Lincoln Navigator and attempted to take his bleeding relatives to a hospital after a flurry of bullets entered the SUV Easter Sunday in the Little Village neighborhood.
Garrido, 23, said he was in the backseat with two young children when the gunfire erupted and he was shot in the hand. His brother, Juan Ocon, was shot in the head while driving and his cousin, Timmy Bermudez, was struck in the chest as he sat in the front seat, authorities said.
After the shooting, Garrido climbed into the driver’s seat, sat on his bleeding brother and drove off to find a hospital as the children cried in the back seat. Read more
What is Homicide Watch Chicago?
Homicide Watch Chicago is dedicated to the proposition that murder is never a run-of-the-mill story. Attention must be paid to each one, not merely a select and particularly tragic few. We understand the reality of the public’s demand for news - that some stories get more attention than others. But all murders represent a degree of human suffering - direct and indirect - that cannot be ignored. Read more…