Family members say shooting stole a bright future from ‘happy-go-lucky’ Stevie Jefferson

By ELIZABETH CZAPSKI
Homicide Watch Chicago

On a summer day during their sophomore year of high school, Kayla Taylor and her boyfriend, Stevie Jefferson, sat down to talk about their future.

Stevie Jefferson / Family photo

Stevie Jefferson / Family photo

They envisioned a life together in Virginia after graduation, where they wanted to go to college, get good jobs, get married and have kids.

Jefferson and Taylor met during their freshman year at After School Matters, where they “wrote poetry, performed for young kids and went on college field trips,” Taylor said. Their favorite places to go together were Millennium Park and the beach.

A senior at Ombudsman High School, the 17-year-old Jefferson was scheduled to graduate in June, his mother, Latina Sanders Stuckey, said.

He would never get the chance.
Read more

Jorge Navarro Jr. fatally shot while driving his car on Lake Shore in Lincoln Park

Jorge Navarro Jr. was shot to death early Wednesday while driving on Lake Shore Drive in the North Side Lincoln Park neighborhood.

Authorities investigate a fatal shooting in the 2300 block of North Lake Shore Drive. | Network Video Productions

Authorities investigate a fatal shooting in the 2300 block of North Lake Shore Drive. | Network Video Productions


Navarro, 25, was driving a silver Lexus about 3:45 a.m. in the southbound lanes of the 2300 block of North Lake Shore Drive, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Another vehicle pulled alongside the Lexus near Fullerton, and someone inside shot him in the chest, police said.

The Lexus then crashed into the center median. Two other people, a male and female who were passengers in the car, were not injured, police said.

Navarro was taken to Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 4:37 a.m., authorities said. He lived in the McKinley Park neighborhood on the Southwest Side.

An autopsy found he died of multiple gunshot wounds, and his death was ruled a homicide.

—Chicago Sun-Times Wire

Max Arroyo, gunned down by gang members in Avondale, called ‘great father’ and ‘family man’

By ASHLEE REZIN
Chicago Sun-Times Wire

Family and friends mourn at the corner of Pulaski and Melrose, where 24-year-old Max Arroyo was shot to death early Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017.  | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Family and friends mourn at the corner of Pulaski and Melrose, where 24-year-old Max Arroyo was shot to death early Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times


While walking to a bus stop with his girlfriend Thursday morning, Maximiliano “Max” Arroyo was gunned down in the Avondale neighborhood on the Northwest Side.

“I don’t believe this,” said Antonio Arroyo, 47, who identified the victim as his 24-year-old nephew.

Officers responding to reports of a person shot at 5:41 a.m. found him lying in the street in the 4000 block of West Melrose, according to Chicago Police. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A police source said the victim was walking to the bus stop with his girlfriend when a vehicle pulled up and someone inside asked if they had gang affiliations, then opened fire. The girlfriend was not injured.
Read more

27-year-old Brent Johnson killed in drive-by shooting in Marquette Park alley

Brent Johnson was shot and killed Wednesday night in the Marquette Park neighborhood on the Southwest Side.

Johnson, 27, was standing in an alley in the 3000 block of West Marquette about 8:45 p.m., according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

That’s when someone in a black car opened fire, hitting him in the head and groin, authorities said.

Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:59 p.m., authorities said. He lived in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood.

No one was in custody for the shooting.

—Chicago Sun-Times Wire

Man shot to death in Humboldt Park drive-by identified as 62-year-old Eddie Wade of Chicago Lawn

A man shot to death on Valentine’s Day in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on the West Side has been identified as 62-year-old Eddie Wade of the Southwest Side.

Wade was sitting in a parked vehicle about 2:40 p.m. Tuesday in the 3400 block of West Walnut, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

A dark-colored Jeep pulled alongside and someone inside opened fire, according to police.

Wade suffered gunshot wounds to the chest and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:55 p.m., authorities said.

An autopsy showed Wade, who lived in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood, died of multiple gunshot wounds.

—Chicago Sun-Times Wire

December death of Melvin Sims of Austin from injuries suffered in shooting 18 years ago ruled homicide

The December death of Melvin Sims, a West Side man who was wounded in a shooting 18 years ago, has been ruled a homicide.

Sims, 55, died at 2:20 a.m. Dec. 27, 2016 at West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

A resident of the West Side Austin neighborhood, Sims was shot 18 years ago, according to the medical examiner’s office. Chicago Police did not have information on the exact date and address of the shooting.

An autopsy found he died of complications from that past gunshot wound, and his death was ruled a homicide.

—Chicago Sun-Times Wire

Vivacious’ 12-year-old Kanari Gentry-Bowers dies four days after being hit by stray bullet near West Englewood school

By ANDY GRIMM, SAM CHARLES and MATTHEW HENDRICKSON
Chicago Sun-Times

Rochetta Taylor, left, and Justin Bowess, right, father of 12-year-old Kanari Gentry-Bowers speaks outside Stroger Hospital where the girl passed away Wednesday. | Maria Cardona/ Sun-Times

Rochetta Taylor, left, and Justin Bowess, right, father of 12-year-old Kanari Gentry-Bowers speaks outside Stroger Hospital where the girl passed away Wednesday. | Maria Cardona/ Sun-Times


Kanari Gentry-Bowers, the 12-year-old who was struck by a stray bullet as she played at her school playground on Saturday evening, died Wednesday after four days on life support at Stroger Hospital.

The girl’s father and aunt, along with crisis responder Dawn Valenti, spoke to reporters outside the hospital a few hours after Kanari was pronounced dead.

Her father, Justin Bowers, somberly pleaded for anyone with information on the shooting to come forward.

“I just want justice for my daughter. That’s all I’m asking,” Bowers said. “Stop holding this punk. Turn him in, please. Just turn him in. That’s all I’m asking.”

“Kanari Gentry Bowers passed away this afternoon,” the family said in a statement released by Stroger Hospital. “We are appreciative of all of the thoughts and prayers we have received in the past several days. Please keep your children close and do whatever it takes to protect them from the senseless gun violence in our city.”
Read more

WEEK IN REVIEW: At least 10 more killed in Chicago, including 2-month-old baby and popular local rap singer

By JEFF MAYES
Chicago Sun-Times Wire
rockwell-CST-032812-3.JPG
It was another violent week in Chicago, with at least 10 people killed last week, including three in the West Austin neighborhood alone.

The death toll included a 2-month-old girl whose death in the Humboldt Park neighborhood was ruled a homicide by child abuse; and a popular local rapper killed after getting into a fight on a CTA Green Line train near downtown.

Family members took the baby, Aliya Acosta, to a hospital on Jan. 17 after she became unresponsive in her home, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. She was later transferred to Lurie Children’s Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 2:04 a.m. Thursday.

An autopsy Friday found she died from multiple injuries caused by child abuse, and the death was ruled a homicide, according to the medical examiner’s office.

An Illinois Department of Children and Family Services spokeswoman said the agency is investigating allegations of abuse against the girl’s mother, father and other caregivers; while Area North detectives are conducting a death investigation.

The rapper was stabbed to death Wednesday afternoon near Metra tracks in the Fulton River District. Walter Long Jr., 24, got into a fight with someone who pulled out a sharp object about 3:20 p.m. in the 400 block of North Clinton, police and the medical examiner’s office said.
Read more

2-year-old Lavontay White, 26-year-old Lazarec Collins die in what police call ‘targeted’ shooting in North Lawndale

By SAM CHARLES, ANDY GRIMM and JORDAN OWEN
Chicago Sun-Times

Police stand near a car in an alley between Kostner and Kenneth avenues while investigating a fatal shooting in North Lawndale. | Andy Grimm/Sun-Times

Police stand near a car in an alley between Kostner and Kenneth avenues while investigating a fatal shooting in North Lawndale. | Andy Grimm/Sun-Times


Two-year-old Lavontay White and 26-year-old Lazarec Collins were killed, and the boy’s aunt wounded in an attack Tuesday afternoon in North Lawndale that was partially captured on Facebook Live.

The woman was streaming video at the time of the shooting, which occurred in an alley in the 2300 block of South Kenneth Avenue.

The three were in a car in the alley about 1:30 p.m. when another vehicle drove past and someone got out, pulled a weapon and fired shots, according to Chicago Police.

The toddler and Collins were both shot in the head. They were taken to Stroger Hospital, where the toddler died about 2:43 p.m., authorities said. Collins lived in the Little Village neighborhood.
Read more

18-year-old Malike Ellis shot to death while riding in vehicle in North Lawndale

Malike Ellis was fatally shot Tuesday morning in a vehicle in the North Lawndale neighborhood on the West Side.

The 18-year-old was riding in a vehicle around 9:30 a.m. in the 4100 block of West 18th Street when another vehicle pulled up and someone inside fired shots, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Ellis, who lived in the same neighborhood, was shot in the chest. The driver took him to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he died at 9:53 a.m., authorities said.

—Chicago Sun-Times Wire

Just hours after her death, man charged with fatal shooting of 11-year-old Takiya Holmes in Parkway Gardens

By STEFANO ESPOSITO and ANDY GRIMM
Chicago Sun-Times

Takiya Holmes | family photo

Takiya Holmes | family photo


Just hours after 11-year-old Takiya Holmes died Tuesday after being shot while sitting in a van Saturday evening in Parkway Gardens, a 19-year-old man was charged with her murder.

Antwan C. Jones is facing first-degree murder charges in Takiya’s shooting, Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said

“I hope it’s the correct person and I’m hoping justice is served,” Patsy Holmes, Takiya’s grandmother, said Wednesday morning. “If it’s the right person, I want him to be punished to the fullest.”

Takiya died Tuesday morning at Comer Children’s Hospital. She was sitting next to her 3-year-old brother in the back seat of a van — her mother and aunt were in the front seats — when gunfire erupted about 7:40 p.m. Saturday in the 6500 block of South King Drive.

Takiya was “beautiful, loving and smart” and “everybody loved her,” Patsy Holmes said.
Read more