Man gets 51 years for fatal shooting over gang affiliation

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A Latin Kings street gang member has been sentenced to 51 years in prison for fatally shooting a rival after demanding the man renounce his own gang.

Abel Ruiz, 23, was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder on May 21 after a four-day trial before Judge Vincent Gaughan, court records show.

Prosecutors accused Ruiz of fatally shooting Brandon Cage about 1:30 a.m. June 12, 2013, in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood, Homicide Watch Chicago reported previously.

Ruiz was riding in a car with fellow Latin Kings when he instructed the driver to stop in the 3300 block of West 60th Street, according to court records.

Pulling a handgun out of his waistband, Ruiz approached several people in a parked car, stuck the gun against the driver’s head and demanded he “throw down the fork” to show allegiance to Ruiz’ gang, prosecutors said. The driver of the car, who was waiting for Cage, complied.

When Cage walked up moments later Ruiz made the same request, prosecutors said. Cage declined, and said he was a member of the Gangster Disciples. Ruiz then raised the gun and shot him three times in the chest, according to police and prosecutors.

Cage, who was in his 30s, died at 3 a.m. that morning at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, authorities said.

Ruiz fled the scene after the shooting, but the driver of the car that stayed behind called police and provided a description of Ruiz and the getaway car, prosecutors said.

Ruiz was arrested during a traffic stop a short while later, prosecutors said. He was Tasered while in police custody after he trying to kick out the windows of a police car, prosecutors said.

While in police custody, Ruiz, of the 3600 block of West 57th Street, told some of the others in the lockup that he had just shot a man, prosecutors said.

Ruiz was sentenced to a total of 51 years in prison Wednesday, according to court records. He was given credit for more than two years spent in Cook County Jail since his arrest.

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