Man charged with gunning down girlfriend’s ex while picking up kids in Bridgeport grocery store parking lot

Adrian Soto, 19, is charged with fatally shooting Nicholas John Narolewski, 22, on Nov. 7, 2021.

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A man has been charged in the death of a woman who was hit by a stray bullet last month on the West Side.

The Leighton Criminal Courthouse

Sun-Times file photo

A 19-year-old man is facing a murder charge for allegedly shooting to death his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend in the parking lot of a busy Bridgeport grocery store last year.

On Nov. 7, 2021, Adrian Soto and his girlfriend drove to a Mariano’s in the 3100 block of South Ashland Avenue so she could pick up her two children from the ex-boyfriend, Cook County prosecutors said in court Friday.

Nicholas John Narolewski, 22, parked in the lot with the couple’s children and his mother for the exchange, prosecutors said. When Soto’s girlfriend returned to her car with the children, Soto got out and walked over to Narolewski and started arguing with him, prosecutors said.

Soto took out a 9mm handgun and fired repeatedly at Narolewski, striking him six times, prosecutors said. Narolewski, who was unarmed, died of his wounds a short time later.

Soto ran off and allegedly was seen discarding a gun and a hooded sweatshirt as he fled, both of which were recovered by detectives. Several people who witnessed the shooting identified Soto as the gunman, prosecutors said. The shooting was also captured by at least one surveillance camera.

Adrian Soto

Adrian Soto

Cook County sheriff’s office

Eleven shell casings found at the scene all matched the handgun, prosecutors said, and evidence collected from the gun and hoodie matched Soto’s DNA.

Soto, then 18, was arrested in January in a separate murder case, according to court records.

On Jan. 26, Soto allegedly opened fire from the street at a home in the 2500 block of West 45th Place where a woman he used to date lived and was having a party. Hector Flores, 33, who was inside the home, was killed in the hail of bullets, officials said.

Soto pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder charges in that case, which is still pending. Soto was being held without bail when he was charged this week with Narolewski’s killing, court records show.

An assistant public defender said Soto previously worked in construction and was pursing his GED while in jail. The defense attorney said Soto had been bullied and “encountered some troubling moments” in high school that might later become relevant in the case.

Judge Mary Marubio ordered him held without bail on the latest charge. He was expected back in court Nov. 23.

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