It was nine o’clock Friday and the Chicago Wolves were playing in Northwest suburban Rosemont.
But just a block away from the apparent safety of the Allstate Arena, a crime more typical of Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods was unfolding — the murder of a 14 year old boy.
Authorities say they don’t know why Des Plaines teen Patrick Boswell was shot in the head in the gangway of an apartment building.
But they were looking into possible gang connections, hinted at by Facebook photos of Patrick appearing to throw gang signs.
Patrick’s family described him as a typical teenage boy who loved sports, and Rosemont Police Cmdr. Greg Nazuka said his officers “can’t confirm that [the killing] is solely gang related.”
But his Facebook page prominently features imagery associated with the Latin Kings street gang — and a picture of Patrick making what appear to be gang signs in front of a Des Plaines police car.
On Facebook, the teen calls himself “Guero” — Spanish slang for “whitey.”
No one was in custody in connection with his murder Saturday.
The slaying is believed to be the first murder in Rosemont since police in 2005 found the dismembered remains of a Chinese citizen in a car trunk.
As police hunted for leads Saturday night, the teen’s family gathered at his Des Plaines home.
An uncle said Patrick was a typical “good natured” 8th grader, adding that the teen had recently rescued a pregnant dog who gave birth to a litter of puppies.
Asked about Patrick’s possible gang ties, another uncle, who also didn’t give his name, said police are “looking into everything” including the gang connections, but declined to say more.
The family said Patrick’s dad knew Patrick hung out in a development of squat apartment buildings that sit behind a chain hotel near the Allstate Arena, and that he went looking when the boy didn’t return home on time. While looking for his son, he came upon the crime scene, they said.
Patrick was a student at Iroquois Community School, a spokeswoman for the Des Plaines school district said. Counseling will be provided to students and staff Monday when everyone returns from winter break, district officials said in a letter to parents.
Rosemont Police said the public should’t be fearful that “there’s a gunman on the loose or that there’s any danger.”
Nazuka added, “The investigation is progressing.”