An accused gunman charged with murdering a man at a Brighton Park gas station over Labor Day weekend was ordered held without bail Friday.
Eduardo Pena chased down Steven Garcia and shot him in the back in full view of surveillance cameras at a BP station at 39th Street and Archer Avenue on Sept. 6, Cook County prosecutors said.
Earlier that night, Garcia, 38, and his wife had tried to go into the gas station to purchase a snack but were turned away because they weren’t wearing face masks, prosecutors said.
Garcia took off his shirt so that his wife could wear it around her face and then waited outside while she went back into the store.
Pena and his wife were sitting in an SUV across the street, along with two men who were “old Satan’s Disciples,” Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.
Those two men got out of the SUV when they saw Garcia’s tattoos and approached him to determine if he was affiliated with a gang, Murphy said.
One of the men punched Garcia multiple times in the face, prompting Garcia to run down the street and out of the view of surveillance cameras as his attackers followed behind, Murphy said.
At that point, Pena, 40, got out of the of the driver’s seat of his SUV and also allegedly chased Garcia, who eventually ran back to the gas station.
The other two men had given up the chase, but Pena continued and fired a shot into Garcia’s back with a “large caliber handgun” as Garcia ran up to the gas pumps, Murphy said.
“There was a large cloud of smoke from the muzzle of [Pena’s] gun as he shoots and a nearby Ring camera captured the very loud sound of the gunshot,” Murphy said.
Garcia fell to the ground face down. He was later pronounced dead at St. Anthony Hospital.
The two men who had been with Pena jumped back into the SUV, which sped away with Pena’s wife at the wheel. Pena ran down the block to catch up to the SUV before his wife slowed and let him inside.
But just over a minute later, the SUV was pulled over by officers because Pena’s wife forgot to turn on the headlights, Murphy said.
All four denied hearing gunshots and were eventually released with a warning after their names were checked, Murphy said.
The officers’ body-worn cameras recored all of the car’s occupants, and the footage was later matched to footage showing the group at the gas station, prosecutors said.
Pena and one of the other men were arrested Wednesday, records show. Once in custody, the man identified Pena as the shooter and provided details of the shooting that matched the surveillance footage, prosecutors said.
Pena’s assistant public defender said he has no criminal background and lives with his wife and four children, who he supports by working as a custodian at the Merchandise Mart.
Pena bail is expected back in court Tuesday.