Thursday, February 09, 2012

Rub-Out by Hispanic Gang in Chicago Suburb of North Lake Claims James Romero, 18


Bullet holes are visible on the front window of the family home of James Romero, 18, at 207 45th Ave. in Northlake today. Romero was sitting in the living room when he was shot. (Antonio Perez, Chicago Tribune)

Cops: Gangs may have targeted Northlake home where man, 18, was killed
February 7, 2012
By Joseph Ruzich
Chicago Tribune

James Romero was sitting on the couch watching television when four to five gunshots rang out from outside his Northlake home early this morning.

Romero, 18, ran from the living room toward a basement stairway to take cover, but collapsed on the stairs from a gunshot wound that entered his side, according to his brother Luis Duran.

“He said he was shot and then collapsed,” said Duran.

Romero was taken to Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park, where he was pronounced dead at 1:20 a.m. Tuesday. Police said they received a call shortly after midnight of gunfire in the 200 block of South 45th Avenue in the western suburb.

On Tuesday afternoon, family members were installing a plastic cover over a cracked living room window.

“It (the killing) doesn’t seem real right now to us, it hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Duran. He said six people were in the house, but Romero was the only one in the living room at the time.

Duran believes his brother was targeted and suspects the shooter might have called out Romero’s name or made a noise prompting him to look out the window before shooting at him.

Northlake Police Chief Dennis Koletsos said he believes the shooter was on foot and walked up from the sidewalk to the window and started shooting. “It was a retaliatory gang shooting, but we don’t know if he was targeting James (at the time) or just shooting at the house. We do have some leads and we are interviewing a lot of people.”

Koletsos said Romero was a known gang member and had some contact with police in the past.

But his brother said Romero was trying to turn his life around.

“He was a good kid, but he was hanging around with some not so good people,” said Duran. “He was starting to change his life around. He wanted to get his GED and began to realize that he wanted to do more with his life.”

Duran said his brother attended both Proviso West High School in Hillside and West Leyden High School in Northlake, but dropped out during his senior year.

Koletsos said anyone with information on the incident should call the Northlake Police Department.

[Thanks to reader-researcher RC for this story.

From WEJB/NSU’s Chicagoland file:

Homicides up more than 50 percent in January, overall crime down 20 percent
By Jeremy Gorner
Chicago Tribune
9:14 p.m. CST, January 30, 2012

Homicides in Chicago have risen sharply so far in January compared with a year earlier, continuing a trend that began over the last few months of 2011, police records show.

In a telephone interview Monday, police Superintendent Garry McCarthy noted that Chicago had gone the last five days without a single homicide, but he acknowledged for the first 29 days of January, homicides rose to 40, up from 26 for the same period a year earlier, more than a 50 percent jump.

The increase follows an upward trend in homicides citywide in the last three months of 2011. In that final quarter of the year, homicides totaled 115, compared with 92 homicides for the same period in 2010, a 25 percent increase, according to city crime statistics.

McCarthy said much of that increase was the result of a bloody 17-day stretch from October into November. The overall homicide rate fell a bit in 2011, compared to the previous year.

The homicide category was the only crime category up in the first month of 2012 with overall crime down by about 20 percent, McCarthy said.

The superintendent continued to express confidence that homicides would go down when shootings fall. So far in January, the number of shootings is identical to the same period last year at 140.

When asked what accounted for January’s spike in homicides, McCarthy replied: “We’re at 73 percent murder-by-gunshot right now, which means that the other categories have stacked up…stabbings, asphyxiation.”

But Michael Shields, president of the Fraternal Order of the Police, suggested the increase in homicides could be the result of the mild winter, but McCarthy laughed at that explanation.

Shields maintained that if the department takes credit for five days without a single homicide, it must be prepared to take the blame when homicides rise.

“If they’re going to take credit for the good, they have to take credit for the bad,” he said.

University of Chicago professor Jens Ludwig cautioned against reading too much into statistics over such a short period of time, saying there can be a lot of fluctuation year-to-year.

At an unrelated news conference Monday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel highlighted Chicago’s continuing gang problems as the source of the continuing concern over the homicide rate.

“Chicago has a problem unlike any other major city given the size of our gangs.,” the mayor said. “… Nobody can be content, but we are making progress in the right things that are necessary to bring a level of safety to our streets.”

McCarthy recently introduced a new strategy to combat violence in the Englewood and Harrison police districts, two of the more dangerous parts of the city, by calling for the saturation of officers in hot spots within those districts for a lengthy periods [sic] of time.

[N.S.: That’s COMPSTAT talk.]

Over roughly the first half of January, many of the city’s homicides occurred in those two districts, McCarthy said. But since the department implemented its strategy in those neighborhoods, the situation has improved, he said.

[He’s talking mush. How many murders were committed pre-and-post-saturation deployment? He won’t say, because he’s blowing smoke.]

McCarthy also pointed to the drop in overall crime in January as a promising trend. “If the other stuff was going off the charts, then I’d be a lot more concerned than I am,” he said.

Tribune reporter Hal Dardick contributed.

[From WEJB/NSU’s Chicago Files:

“Illinois Sentencing Guideline for Robbery + Assault + Attempted Murder by a Black on a White: One Year;

“Chicago: 21-Year-Old Shoots 84-Year-Old for ‘Disrespecting’ Him (with a Surprise Ending!)”;

“Chicago is Enriched by ‘Jaliscan’ (or is It ‘Arizonan’?) and ‘African’ Diversity”;

“Shooting at Whitey: Running the Gauntlet in Chicago Public Transportation”;

“Amish Gone Wild: Chicago Police Brace for ‘Flash Mob’ Attacks”;

“Walter Williams: America's new racists”;

“Chicago: Fifty-Strong, Black Robbery Mob Hits Walgreens on the Magnificent Mile”;

“The Great Chicago Memorial Day Gang Attack Cover-Up”;

“Convicted Murderer to Chicago Tribune’s Dawn Turner Trice: ‘I’m Not a Murderer’”;

“One Act of Memorial Day Weekend Violence That Neither the Chicago Police Department Nor the New York Times Tried to Cover Up”;

“Cognitive Dissonance in Chicago: Last Weekend, 20 People were Shot and 5 Killed of All Ages and in All Situations, Yet Crime is Dropping Like a Rock!”;

Chicago Tribune Editor to Readers: It’s None of Your Damned Business, Who’s Racially Targeting Whites and Asians for All of These Ceaseless, Brutally Violent Crimes!”;

“Speaking Truth to Black Power in Chicago”;

“Edward Vincent Hanrahan (1921-2009): He Helped Kill Fred Hampton”;

“Air Conditioner Attacks Chicago Sister, Causing a Brother’s Murder”;

“Lynch Mob of Seven Blacks Rob, and Try to Stomp to Death Raceless 18-Year-Old in Chicago’s Chinatown”;

“DADT/Due Diligence, Diversity-Style: For Years, Illinois State Program Did No Background Checks, and Paid Black Convicted Rapists to be Baby-Sitters”;

“The Black Wall of Silence: Harvey, IL, Police Department Conspired for at Least 14 Years to Protect Black Rapists; County Prosecutor’s Office Had to Raid Local PD, in Order to Rescue Stashed Rape Kits”;

“Video: In Racist Attack in Chicago, Two Huge, Fat, Black Sisters, 17 and 18, Jump Skinny Spanish Girl, 14, in Bio Class, Beat Her for 6-7 Minutes, Leaving Her with a Concussion and Internal Injuries; Frightened, Helpless,White Teacher Does Nothing”;

“12 Shot in 11.5 Hours, as Violent Crime Continues to Plummet in Chicago”;

“In Chicago: Happy Birthday … You’re Dead!”;

“7 Dead, 3 Injured Out of Ecuadorean Extended Family in Minivan; Van Hit Deer, was Hit by Semi; No One Wore Seatbelts”;

“The Kelli O'Laughlin Slaying: The Crazy Card, Again”;

“Media Alchemy: Sun-Times, Fox News Staffers Transform a Robbery into “a Fight over a Cell Phone”;

“Federal Judges Thwart Justice, on Behalf of Cop-Killers… Again”;

Chicago Tribune Breaks with Policy, and Racially IDs Perps in Home Invasion!”;

“The Gouger II: Exulam I. Holman Allegedly Gouged Out Uncle’s Eyes Over TV Remote”;

“Chicago Cops Release Photos of Negro Execution-Killers Celebrating Christmas”;

“Here’s a Mass Murder That Not Only the Nat'l MSM, but Even the Local Chicago Tribune Doesn’t Want Known: Cedric Anderson Murdered 4 Yesterday”;

“Chicago: Spree-Killer Dante Simmons Murders Troy Cameron, 22, Anton Sanders, 15, Shoots Up Chicago Walgreen’s, City Bus, Then Does Taxpayers a Favor”;

“Chicago: Rogers Park Gang Hit at Traffic Light Claims Lives of Dion Miller and Jonathan Bell; Killings Follow Pair the Previous Night.”;

“Six Shot Saturday Night on Chicago’s South Side; One Dead, as Crime Continues to Drop!”; and

“Chicago: Murders Exploded in January, While Overall Crime Died.”]


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