Father of 3 killed on his anniversary; another victim had hoped to bring his family from Mexico

It started with an argument with neighbors in Chicago Heights early Sunday, according to relatives of the two men who were killed.

SHARE Father of 3 killed on his anniversary; another victim had hoped to bring his family from Mexico
Crystal Chavez (left), the wife of David Parra, hugs Vanessa Aparicio. Antonio Muñoz lived with Aparicio and her husband. The two men were shot to death in Chicago Heights.

Crystal Chavez (left), the wife of David Parra, hugs Vanessa Aparicio. Antonio Muñoz lived with Aparicio and her husband. The two men were shot to death in Chicago Heights.

Pat Nabong / Sun-Times

David Parra, Crystal Chavez and their three kids had just returned to their Chicago Heights home with relatives early Sunday after an all-night family gathering. The couple planned to celebrate their anniversary later that day.

Chavez headed inside, expecting Parra to bring the kids into their home in the 500 block of West 14th Place. But in that time, some neighbors who were drinking outside the house across the street had picked a fight with Parra, Chavez said.

“They started arguing. My husband said, ‘I don’t want any problems here,’” Chavez said. “And then one of them said, ‘Well, there’s going to be problems.’ And that’s when they punched my husband in the face.”

Parra went to his car and grabbed his legally owned gun, Chavez said, to scare off a group that had grown from a couple of people to at least 15 men. The neighbors allegedly left and came back with their own guns, killing Parra, 30, and Chavez’s cousin, 32-year-old Antonio Muñoz.

Parra and Chavez’s kids, ages 14, 11 and 6, were still in their car just a few feet away.

David Parra, killed in a shooting Sunday, was married with three kids.

David Parra, killed in a shooting Sunday, was married with three kids.

Provided

Responding officers found the men unresponsive, and they were taken by paramedics to a nearby hospital, where they were pronounced dead, according to the Chicago Heights Police Department. Police didn’t provide further information.

Chavez said officers detained at least 15 men, one of them after a long standoff inside the home across the street.

Family members set up memorials for Parra and Muñoz outside the family’s home with balloons, candles and items left in their pockets like gum and mints. Each had a few cans of beer, too, from a pack that Chavez said she and her husband had just bought for the house. Family and friends gathered on the street Monday morning to pay their respects.

David Parra’s daughter stands beside a memorial for him and Antonio Muñoz outside the Parra family home in Chicago Heights.

David Parra’s daughter stands beside a memorial for him and Antonio Muñoz outside the Parra family home in Chicago Heights.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

“He was very calm,” Chavez said of her husband. “He was good to his kids, to his family. He was a good guy, everybody liked him.

“He wasn’t that type of argument person,” she said. “Maybe it was the wrong time and the wrong place.”

David Parra wanted to turn his grilling hobby into a small business called the Wing Man.

David Parra wanted to turn his grilling hobby into a small business called the Wing Man.

Provided

Parra helped his wife with chores around the house, went grocery shopping and helped her with her wedding invitation business. He loved to make smoked wings with a special mango habanero sauce and wanted to start a business called the Wing Man, maybe with a tent outside the house at first, Chavez said.

The couple had been together for nine years and married for six. Sunday was their wedding anniversary.

“The same day they took his life away,” Chavez said.

Crystal Chavez stands outside her Chicago Heights home, where her husband, David Parra, and cousin Antonio Muñoz were fatally shot early Sunday. Police arrested at least 15 men in the shooting.

Crystal Chavez stands outside her Chicago Heights home, where her husband, David Parra, and cousin, Antonio Muñoz, were shot and killed early Sunday. Police arrested at least 15 men in the shooting.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

She said she plans to leave town with the kids, maybe to Ohio to live near her sister.

Muñoz, too, had a young family. He moved to the United States from Mexico this year. He first went to Texas then lived in south suburban Lansing with his cousin’s family — Chavez’s brother — the past two months.

His wife and three young daughters, ages 11, 7 and 1 remained in Mexico. He was trying to bring them to Chicago.

Antonio Muñoz had moved from Mexico this year and wanted to bring his wife and three kids to Chicago.

Antonio Muñoz had moved from Mexico this year and wanted to bring his wife and three kids to Chicago.

Provided

Vanessa Aparicio, his cousin’s wife, said the family loved having Muñoz and was devastated to lose him.

“He was sweet, and my girls loved him,” she said through tears. “He was very respectful.”

Relatives said Muñoz had made plans the day before to buy tablet computers for his girls and send them to Mexico with an aunt.

A memorial of flowers, candles, beer sits outside the home where David Parra and Antonio Muñoz were shot to death Sunday.

A memorial of flowers, candles, beer sits outside the home where David Parra and Antonio Muñoz were shot to death Sunday.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

The family expects to hold visitations for both men in the suburbs then fly their remains to Mexico to be buried close to Parra’s mother and Muñoz’s wife and kids.

Contributing: Cindy Hernandez

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