By MATTHEW HENDRICKSON and SIMONE ALICEA
Chicago Sun-Times Wire
Hector Badillo Jr. was hanging out at his father’s auto shop, as he often did on weekends, when he was shot in the neck and killed Friday night in East Garfield Park.
Badillo was frequently at the shop on weekends, playing cards and dominoes with his father and other employees, and working on cars, including his prized 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle, his family said. Although he installed audio equipment for a living, he was a talented mechanic.
“He was a good father,” his future sister-in-law Melody Miranda said. “He grew up in the shop. He hangs out with his father every week. They like to show off their cars.”
Badillo, 31, was outside the shop while his fiancee sat in her SUV across the street about 3:30 a.m. That’s when someone walked out of an alley in the middle of the 700 block of North California and fired shots, according to Chicago Police and his family.
He was struck in the neck and fell to the ground. The shooter then ran back down the alley from where he’d come.
Badillo, who lived in the 400 block of North Trumbull, was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:41 a.m., the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.
People who were standing outside The Continental, a 4 a.m. bar on the corner of California and Chicago, heard the shots and rushed back inside telling others to call police.
A 44-year-old man was also struck when a bullet went through the door of his SUV and struck his left leg, police said. A friend who was inside the bar when the shooting happened said that man works at a nearby bar and was dropping off a co-worker at The Continental when he was shot.
He was taken to Stroger Hospital, where his condition was stabilized, police said.
A witness who was waiting outside the bar for an Uber said he heard gunfire and saw a man on the ground. He said he ran to the man and tried to help him.
“I just saw a guy laying there,” said the shaken man, who had blood on his arms and shirt. “He just bled out.”
The Continental closed after staff learned two people were shot on the street. Customers stood on the corner near the bar and watched as police cars blocked the street.
Badillo was the father of two daughters and a son, his family said. He became engaged to his fiancee last year.
“He was a good man,” his future brother-in-law said. “He took care of his kids. He took care of my sister.”
His fiancee sobbed as family members comforted her.
“My children need their father,” she cried. “He just needs to wake up. I don’t know how this happened. How did this happen?”