Suspect in custody in Portage Park bar shooting that killed 3, critically wounded 1

Police suspect the gunman opened fire after getting into an argument early Sunday at the Vera Lounge in the 5500 block of West School Street, officials said.

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Two small memorials for the victims of a fatal shooting early Sunday at Vera Lounge sit on the sidewalk at West School Street and North Central Avenue in Portage Park.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

A suspect has been taken into custody for a shooting during a birthday party at a Portage Park bar over the weekend that killed three people and critically wounded another person.

No charges have been announced against the suspect, who police believe opened fire after getting into an argument early Sunday at the Vera Lounge in the 5500 block of West School Street, officials said.

The shooting occurred around 2:30 a.m. Sunday during a birthday party for the niece of the bar’s owner. The niece was seriously wounded and her father, Ricky Vera, 50, was killed. Two of the woman’s friends, Mario Pozuelos, 26, and Mercedes Tavares, 24, also died.

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A law enforcement source said the gunman stood over some of the victims and kept firing. The gunman then sped off in a dark-colored SUV.

Vera and Pozuelos were shot in their heads and body and pronounced dead at the scene, according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Tavares was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital and pronounced dead.

The niece, 25, was taken to Mount Sinai in critical condition with a gunshot wound to her head.

Police said detectives were reviewing surveillance video.

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