46 years for teen who killed 2 students outside Benito Juarez Community Academy

Christian Acevedo, 18, was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty to murder and attempted murder in the 2022 shootings.

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A mourner crouches at a vigil outside Benito Juarez High School in Pilsen, Chicago, less than a week after a shooting during dismissal left two teenagers dead and two wounded.

A mourner crouches at a vigil outside Benito Juarez High School in Pilsen on Dec. 19, 2022, less than a week after a shooting during dismissal left two teenagers dead and two wounded.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times file

A teenager who shot and killed two students outside Benito Juarez Community Academy in Pilsen has been sentenced to 46 years in prison.

Christian Acevedo, 18, was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty to two counts of murder and a single count of attempted murder before Judge Mary Margaret Brosnahan.

Brosnahan sentenced Acevedo to 40 years in prison for killing Juarez student Brandon Perez, 15, and Nathan Billegas, a 14-year-old student at Chicago Bulls College Prep on Dec. 16, 2022. Acevedo will have to serve another six years on the attempted murder count, according to court records.

Acevedo has been held in custody since he was arrested two months after the shooting.

Shortly before opening fire, surveillance cameras recorded Acevedo near the school’s campus at 1450 W. Cermak Road talking to students and then running from the campus, Cook County prosecutors said.

Officials said Christian Acevedo, then 16, was seen fleeing the area after the shooting at Benito Juarez High School.

Officials said Christian Acevedo, then 16, was seen fleeing the area after the shooting at Benito Juarez High School.

Chicago police

The shooting itself was not captured on camera, which occurred shortly after classes were dismissed for the day.

Brandon and Nathan were standing in a plaza under a bridge that connects two wings of the school when shots rang out.

Prosecutors said the shooting was gang-related, telling a judge during Acevedo’s initial hearing that witnesses said they heard someone say, “Razas over there” — referring to the La Razz street gang.

A witness took a photo of Acevedo holding a gun and standing over one of the two slain teens, allowing him to be identified to investigators.

nathan-billegas-brandon-perez.jpg

Nathan Billegas, left and Brandon Perez. | GoFundMe

GoFundMe

On the day of his arrest, Acevedo was seen driving a stolen car and then running inside his house with a rifle, though the weapon was not found when police entered the home a short time later, prosecutors said.

Other guns were found in Acevedo’s room, most of them outfitted with switches that allowed them to fire multiple times with a single trigger pull, prosecutors said.

Acevedo was a former student who had been expelled earlier in the school year over behavioral, academic and attendance issues.

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