After prison, Raygene Jackson was working toward a better future, but new life cut short by gun in a ‘city in ruins’

13659089_1166433863419410_8587280314921985508_n

Raygene Jackson | Facebook

By TYLER HOLMES
Homicide Watch Chicago

Raygene Jackson was a repentant man with a troubled past and a promising future. After being paroled from prison last year for a crime he committed when he was 17, Jackson was determined to improve life for himself and everyone around him.

“He made mistakes and he did the time for his mistakes. But he was sorry,” said Pamela Roberts, Jackson’s godmother. “He was a compassionate person. He was a lovely, caring person.”

Jackson had been with his fiancée, Faydra Rhinehart, since they were teenagers and she always remained by his side. The two were working on purchasing a house and getting married, hoping to start a life that had been put on hold for 20 years.

“When he was with me, he was the young sweet boy his mother raised,” Rhinehart remembered. “I’ve known him since I was a kid. I’ve loved him my whole life.”

Together, they had a daughter in 1994, before she was tragically shot at age three in 1997. Rhinehart later had another daughter whom Jackson happily embraced as his own.

“He never got the chance to raise any of his kids,” Rhinehart said. “He got locked up as a boy and came out a man. His life was changed. He said, ‘It took me a long time to do it, but I accepted God and I did change’.”
Read more

Alvonta Pinex, aka Vonta West, dies three days after being shot during argument with man in Englewood

Alvonta Pinex of south suburban Riverdale died Tuesday evening, three days after he was shot during an argument in the Englewood neighborhood early Saturday. He was better known to friends as Vonta West.

Pinex, 27, got into an argument with another man at 2:24 a.m. Saturday in the 7200 block of South Aberdeen. The other man then pulled out a gun and fired shots, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Pinex suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the torso, and was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he died at 5:39 p.m. Tuesday, authorities said. He lived in the 14100 block of South Tracy Avenue in Riverdale.

As of Thursday morning, no one was in custody in connection with the shooting.

—Chicago Sun-Times Wire

Arian J. Smith found shot to death in the kitchen of his home in Ashburn

Police called to a home in the Ashburn neighborhood Tuesday afternoon found the body of Arian J. Smith, who had been shot in his own kitchen.

Police were called at 4:29 p.m. to the home in the 3800 block of West 84th Place, where they found 32-year-old Smith dead on the floor with a gunshot wound to the head, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Smith was pronounced dead at the scene at 4:36 p.m., according to the medical examiner’s office.

Area Central detectives are conducting a homicide investigation, and are trying to determine if the incident may have been a home invasion or robbery.

—Chicago Sun-Times Wire

Police release artist’s sketch of severed head found in McKinley Park lagoon

Chicago police released sketches of a person whose head was found in a bag in the McKinley Park lagoon last week. | Chicago Police

Chicago police released sketches of a person whose head was found in a bag in the McKinley Park lagoon last week. | Chicago Police

Chicago Police on Wednesday released sketches of a person whose severed head was found inside a bag last week in the McKinley Park lagoon in the hope of finding out who it is.

The human remains were found about 10 a.m. Sept. 23 at the park at 2210 W. Pershing, according to Chicago Police.

A Chicago Park District worker found the bag during a routine clean-up, a source said.

The remains of the person found were described as black, between 15 and 25 years old, police said. Investigators are unsure if they were male or female.

Policce have drained the lagoon to look for further body parts.

Anyone with information on the person’s identity is asked to call police at (312) 747-8730.

—Chicago Sun-Times Wire

WEEK IN REVIEW: At least 19 more murders in Chicago push the year’s homicide total to more than 550

By JEFF MAYES
Chicago Sun-Times Wire

At least 19 people were killed in Chicago violence last week, pushing the year’s homicide total to over the 550 mark, a number that could go up when pending autopsy results are complete.
rockwell-CST-032812-3.JPG
One of those undetermined cases involved a severed head and other body parts that were found inside a garbage bag floating in the McKinley Park lagoon on Friday morning. The human remains were found about at the park at 2210 W. Pershing, according to Chicago Police.

A Chicago Park District worker found the bag during a routine clean-up and discovered the man’s head and other body parts inside. Authorities said the victim appeared to be a black male, but he had not been identified as of Wednesday, and autopsy results were pending, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

As of Tuesday, there were 560 homicides in Chicago this year, according to an unofficial count kept by the Chicago Sun-Times Wire. Last year, police reported a total of 468 murders for the entire year.

  • The week’s final homicide was a 54-year-old man from the western suburbs who died Sunday evening after being shot in the head Saturday night near Millennium Park in the Loop. Peter Fabbri of Berwyn was pronounced dead at 5:53 p.m. Sunday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, according to the medical examiner’s office.

    He had been walking with two people around 7:35 p.m. Saturday along Michigan Avenue when he got into an argument with another man at the northeast corner of Michigan and Monroe, according to police. They started fighting, and the other person pulled a gun and shot him in the head.
    Read more

Man sentenced to probation for accidentally shooting Marsalis Homan to death in their North Lawndale apartment

By JORDAN OWEN
Chicago Sun-Times Wire

James Gonnigan | Cook County Sheriff's Dept.

James Gonnigan | Cook County Sheriff’s Dept.


A West Side man who accidentally fatally shot his close friend and roommate, Marsalis Homan, in the head last year in their North Lawndale apartment has been sentenced to probation.

James Gonnigan, 27, pleaded guilty to one felony count of involuntary manslaughter on July 15 before Judge Timothy Joseph Joyce, according to Cook County court records.

On Jan. 4, 2015, Gonnigan and the 20-year-old Homan were playing with a gun in the kitchen of their home in the 1300 block of South Kolin Avenue, authorities said.

Others in the house reported hearing the men talking and laughing before a single shot rang out, authorities said.

After the shooting, Gonnigan ran into a bedroom and told his girlfriend and her acquaintance that he’d shot Holman, authorities said. They found Holman lying in a pool of blood and someone called 911.
Read more

Jose Ernesto Martinez shot to death just blocks from his Gage Park home

Jose Ernesto Martinez was fatally shot Monday night about three blocks away from his home in the Gage Park neighborhood on the Southwest Side.

The 30-year-old Martinez was shot in the upper chest and armpit about 6:40 p.m. in the 5100 block of South Washtenaw Avenue, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Martinez, of the 5100 block of South Mozart, was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:11 p.m., authorities said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses.

—Chicago Sun-Times Wire

Antonio Porterfield shot to death in Calumet Heights, and ‘person interest’ released without charges

A man fatally shot early Sunday in the South Side Calumet Heights neighborhood has been identified as 28-year-old Antonio Porterfield.

He was shot in the neck about 4:30 a.m. in the 9200 block of South Colfax, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Porterfield, of the 12000 block of South Indiana, was taken to Trinity Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5:04 a.m., according to the medical examiner’s office.

Detectives questioned a person of interest after the shooting, but on Tuesday, police said that person was released without charges.

—Chicago Sun-Times Wire

Autopsy rules shooting death of Omar Rangel in Ashburn a homicide, but police still think 20-year-old killed himself

By JORDAN OWEN
Chicago Sun-Times Wire

The death of 20-year-old Omar Rangel, found shot to death in a car Sunday morning in the Southwest Side Ashburn neighborhood, is being ruled a homicide, at least according to autopsy results.

Police said they were treating the death as a suicide.

Rangel was found unresponsive with gunshot wounds to the head and chest in a parked car in the 8200 block of South Scottsdale at 6:10 a.m. Sunday, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Rangel, of the 8400 block of South Kilbourn, was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:30 a.m., according to the medical examiner’s office. An autopsy found he died of multiple gunshot wounds, and his death was ruled a homicide.

However, police said Tuesday morning his death was being investigated as a suicide.

A police source said he had a gun in his hand, and spent shell casings were found in the vehicle.

A memorial GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family pay funeral expenses.

Police say witnesses are not cooperating after Jevon O’Brien fatally shot in Rogers Park

Chicago Police say they don’t have much information about the fatal shooting of Jevon O’Brien early Tuesday in the Rogers Park neighborhood because witnesses are not cooperating with investigators.

O’Brien, 26, was shot in the head at 4:05 a.m. in the 1500 block of West Jonquil Terrace, according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

After being hit by gunfire, O’Brien was taken by friends to Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston, where he was pronounced dead at 5:50 a.m., authorities said. He lived in the 7700 block of North Paulina.

Additional information on the shooting was not available as witnesses were not cooperating with investigators, police said.

—Chicago Sun-Times Wire