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No bail for 17-year-old accused of killing teen, wounding another in Little Village shooting

Rafael Abrego is facing murder and attempted murder charges as an adult for the April 26 shooting in the 2700 block of South Drake Avenue.

A 17-year-old boy is facing murder and attempted murder charges after he allegedly shot a semi-automatic rifle at two other teenagers — killing one — last month in Little Village.
A 17-year-old boy is facing murder and attempted murder charges after he allegedly shot a semi-automatic rifle at two other teenagers — killing one — last month in Little Village.
Sun-Times Media

A 17-year-old boy was ordered held without bail over the weekend for allegedly killing a teenage boy and wounding a 16-year-old girl during a drive-by shooting in Little Village.

Rafael Abrego has been charged as an adult on murder and attempted murder charges for the April 26 incident.

Abrego was hiding in the backseat of a Chevrolet that morning when the car’s driver pulled up next to Jorge Cruz and the girl who were walking in the 2700 block of South Drake Avenue, authorities said.

When the driver flashed gang signs, Cruz responded, prompting Abrego to pop up from the backseat and start firing a semi-automatic rifle, Cook County prosecutors said Sunday. The girl immediately dropped to the ground, while 17-year-old Cruz, who was struck in the head and shoulder, tried to run away, prosecutors said. Cruz collapsed to the ground a short distance later. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The girl suffered a shrapnel wound to her chest and a graze wound to her ankle, prosecutors said.

The Chicago police’s ShotSpotter gunshot-detection system recorded an estimated 14 gunshots, although the device was unable to determine the location of the shooting, prosecutors said. Investigators recovered eight .223 caliber casings, one spent .223 caliber casing and a 5.56MM casing. Preliminary ballistics tests determined that the .223 caliber casings — including one recovered from the Chevrolet — were fired from the same weapon, prosecutors said.

Surveillance video captured the Chevrolet heading southbound on Drake Avenue after the shooting, prosecutors said. One of two witnesses who also said they saw the Chevrolet going in that direction described the driver as “flooring it,” prosecutors said.

Four witnesses said they later saw Abrego exit the Chevrolet wearing gray sweatpants, a gray sweatshirt and white gym shoes while holding a large object wrapped in a blanket or clothing, prosecutors said. One witness saw Abrego enter a garage with the covered object. He was later seen leaving the garage in a blue T-shirt and black shorts, prosecutors said.

Surveillance video recorded Abrego returning to the garage that night and filling a red bag with what appeared to be one or more heavy objects, prosecutors said. Abrego also allegedly grabbed some gray clothes and put those in the bag.

Abrego made third-party admissions about his involvement in the shooting, prosecutors said.

Latent print and DNA samples were recovered from the Chevrolet during a search warrant the day after the shooting, but the results of those tests are pending, prosecutors said.