Disabled man leaving soup kitchen beaten to death with bike lock in Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Chicago

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CHICAGO, IL – A 67-year-old disabled man who was leaving a church soup kitchen following a verbal argument inside was reportedly attacked by the man he was arguing with inside of the church.

Authorities say that the suspect beat the victim to death with a bike lock in an alley not far from the church.

On September 10th at approximately 2:45 p.m., 67-year-old Juan Antonio Garcia Rios had just finished up having lunch at the local church’s soup kitchen located within the 1900-block of South Ashland Avenue.

Rios was on the phone with his sister after leaving the church, according to his niece Sara Garcia, and Rios’ sister reportedly heard another man’s voice calling out to her brother and approaching. Rios reportedly told his sister that he’d call her back.

However, Garcia said he never did:

“She never heard from him. He was disabled. He couldn’t even really walk, much less run. He was in a church and he had just finished eating.”

A church employee, identified only as Pamela, said that Rios had gotten into some sort of verbal altercation with another man inside of the soup kitchen, saying she saw the suspect attack Rios with what she thought was a “metal bar” in an adjacent alley to the church:

“They were arguing inside and then I guess from there it escalated… They were arguing, the guy brought out the metal bar and hit him right there.”

Staff at the church called 911 regarding the attack, with Chicago Police later describing the weapon used to beat Rios to death was a bike lock. The suspect, who remains unidentified, reportedly rode off on a white bicycle after the attack and has yet to be caught.

Garcia said her uncle was a good man, having moved to Chicago five months earlier in search of work and also to help preach the gospel:

“He was killed. He was my uncle. We want justice. We want to see if people know more information, if they can tell the cops. We just want justice because we’re so far away… He was a Christian man. His life mattered and he was loved.”

Corina Garcia Flores, Rios’ sister, can’t understand why someone would murder her brother:

“He did not do people wrong. That is what we do not understand, why all this happened.”

Flores spoke fondly of her late brother’s talents and work ethic, calling him a “jack of all trades”:

“He was what is normally called a jack of all trades. If you needed something done he would do it.”

In the police district that encompasses Pilsen and parts of the Near West Side, violent crime has increased over the previous year. According to crime statistics, the number of murders has increased by 65% since 2020, having risen from 17 at this time last year to 28 currently.

Theft and sexual assault reports have also increased as opposed to 2020, however, the number of aggravated batteries and burglaries has decreased somewhat.

Anyone with information regarding the murder of Rios is urged to contact Chicago Police or submit an anonymous tip to detectives through the CPDTip.com website.

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Children not spared: Six killed, 56 others wounded over the weekend in gun-controlled Chicago

(Originally published September 14th, 2021)

CHICAGO, IL –  At least 62 people were shot over the weekend in Chicago, including 11 children, and six of them have died as violence continues to rage in the streets.

Eleven of the victims were children under the age of 18, including 12-year-old Kaden Ingram, who was shot and killed by his mother Saturday morning in South Chicago, according to police.

The 7th grader was shot and killed inside his home on the city’s South Side. Police said the child’s mother, Fallon Harris, is now charged with murder.

Early Monday morning, a 16-year-old boy was shot while walking his dog in the South Austin neighborhood.

The boy was walking about 12:25 a.m. in the first block of South Leamington Avenue when someone exited a vehicle and approached him with a firearm, Chicago police said.

The unknown offender shot the boy and fled the scene in the vehicle, according to police.

The boy was shot in the leg and is expected to survive.

A 42-year-old woman was not as lucky. When she joined a group of people walking to their vehicles at approximately 9:39 p.m. in the 300 block of East Kensington Avenue, a drive-by shooter opened fire. The woman was shot twice in the arm and once in the armpit.

She was rushed to the University of Chicago Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

Five other people in the group were shot. A 32-year-old man was shot in the face and is listed in critical condition, and a 38-year-old man was shot in the stomach and is in fair condition. Both are being treated at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

A 31-year-old man took himself to OSF Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Evergreen Park with graze wounds to his head and is in fair condition.

The Chicago Fire Department said the 32-year-old man is an off-duty firefighter.

A 15-year-old girl suffered a gunshot wound during the drive-by shooting and is listed in fair condition.  A 22-year-old man is also listed in fair condition with gunshot wounds.

Earlier, one man was killed and three others were wounded in a drive-by shooting Saturday evening in the East Chatham neighborhood.

A 42-year-old woman standing outside the 2700 block of West Flournoy was shot in the knee after hearing gunshots. Police later discovered a man in a vehicle nearby dead from multiple gunshot wounds.

Those shootings are just a sampling of the violence that struck Chicago during another violent weekend.

Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who championed defunding the police last year, now faces a 60% increase in murders since 2019.

Last year, Lightfoot called for the Chicago Police Department to leave vacant positions unfilled as part of a broader plan to cut police budgets. Changing tune after facing week after week of shootings and death, she said she wants to “recruit the next generation of officers.”

In August, Lightfoot backtracked on the defund movement and proposed a FY2022 budget increase for the police:

“It is my expectation that the police department budget will increase. No question. We have to make sure that we are continuing to provide resources to recruit the next generation of police officers, and to make sure that we’re doing that recruitment in a way that reflects the diversity of our city.”

Lightfoot’s strained relationship with rank-and-file officers was shattered following the August shooting death of 29-year-old Chicago police officer Ella French dead, which left her partner critically injured.

While visiting the wounded officer and his family at the hospital, officers sent a symbolic message. During that visit, Chicago Ald. Ray Lopez, who represents the 15th Ward, which borders the community where Officer French was shot and killed, posted a photo to Facebook showing several officers at the hospital with their backs facing the camera.

He wrote:

“They turned their back to the mayor just as she has turned her back on the rank-and-file (officers) time and time again.”

Asked about the incident later at a press conference, the Democratic Mayor said:

“There was a lot of emotion running that night.

“There were hundreds of officers who were there, and I met and talked to many of them. And there was a lot of emotion from a range of the spectrum from total despair, to anger and rage and kind of everything in between – and that’s to be expected. So, it’s a really hard loss.”

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Chicago businesses being cited for mask violations as shootings and murders skyrocket in the city

(Originally published September 12th, 2021)

CHICAGO, IL – As shootings continue to plague the city of Chicago, city officials have been spending time on issuing dozens of fines to local businesses for failing to comply with the state’s indoor mask mandates.

Following the city’s reintroduction of an indoor mask mandate, Chicago’s Business Affairs and Consumer Protection department has performed over 100 investigations into various businesses suspected of running afoul, issuing 20 citations and 16 warnings between August 20th and the 29th. Said businesses impacted ranged from restaurants, grocery outlets and even nightclubs.

After removing the mask requirement for fully vaccinated persons in May, the Chicago Department of Public Health said in August that the city’s mask rule will be reinstated – whether someone is vaccinated or not – and the reinstatement applied in August even extends to toddlers wearing face coverings:

“All individuals aged 2 and over, regardless of their vaccination status, will be required to wear a mask as of Friday, August 20, while indoors in public settings.”

“Masks are required in all indoor public settings, including bars and restaurants, gyms, common areas of condos and multi-residential buildings, and private clubs.

Similar to previous mask mandates, masks can be removed at restaurants, bars and other eating/drinking establishments by patrons when they are actively eating and drinking.”

CDPH Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady says that this mask mandate “will only be temporary and we can bend the COVID curve,” adding that the current COVID case numbers are rising to alarming levels and measures need to be taken to address it:

“But with case counts now rising back to this level, the risk has increased for everyone, even those who are vaccinated. The time to act is now to prevent further spread.

Chicago residents who have not yet been vaccinated should get a vaccine as soon as possible—it will protect you and your loved ones from the risk of serious illness or even death.”

However, numerous shootings continue to occur in Chicago as the city clamps down on local businesses that fail to comply with mask mandates imposed by city officials.

Over the Labor Day weekend alone, at least 63 individuals were shot throughout the city, six of those victims being fatally shot.

ABC 7 reported that during the Labor Day weekend, as many as 8 of the gunshot victims were children, and one of those killed was a 4-year-old boy. Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown noted that the children being hurt and killed within the city stems mostly from gang violence:

“It’s always some other offender, gang member, criminal network, some beef, and they’re targeting some adult, and young people are nearby and they are shot as innocent bystanders.”

Reports indicate that Chicago has already seen more shootings and murders in 2021 than that of the entirety of 2019. When it comes to children being shot throughout the city in 2021, at least 280 children have been injured – and 35 have been killed by gunfire.

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