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Cancer survivor shot, killed after chasing down hit-and-run driver in Chatham

Alberto Bocanegra. From Facebook.

Alberto Bocanegra. From Facebook.

A former aldermanic candidate and Green Party activist was killed in a drive-by shooting after he chased down a hit-and-run driver who left a bicyclist injured early Tuesday on the South Side.

Alberto Bocanegra captured several of his final minutes in a Facebook Live stream from his phone, before the bizarre chain of events unfolded a little after 1 a.m. as he drove his SUV through the Chatham neighborhood.

Bocanegra, 39, recorded the video as he was following about a hundred bicyclists taking part in the Monday Night Ride, a loosely organized riding group that takes weekly ventures through different parts of the city.

Police investigate a person shot Tuesday morning in the 600 block of East 76th. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Police investigate a person shot Tuesday morning in the 600 block of East 76th. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

About 1:30 a.m., Bocanegra saw a vehicle hit a 30-year-old woman and speed away from the scene, according to Chicago police.

He followed the vehicle and was arguing with the driver when a blue SUV drove by and someone inside fired shots, striking Bocanegra twice in the neck in the 600 block of East 76th Street, police said.

Police investigate a person shot Tuesday morning in the 600 block of East 76th. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

The Brighton Park resident was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 1:48 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

The woman hit by the vehicle was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in good condition with a shoulder injury, police said.

Bocanegra ran for 12th Ward alderman in 2007 and 2011, and in the 15th Ward in 2015, and he briefly served as chair of the Cook County Green Party.

As he notes in one of the videos recorded shortly before his death, he recently survived a bout with leukemia, dropping more than 400 pounds in the process, he tells a bicyclist riding alongside his SUV as ranchera music plays in the background.

“I’m a ‘2-percenter’ — 2 percent of people survive the kind of cancer that I had,” Bocanegra says.

Police investigate a person shot Tuesday morning in the 600 block of East 76th. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Bocanegra also confides to the bicyclist that he expects he’ll be heading to prison next year: “I had to use my handgun to protect my family.”

It’s an apparent reference to his arrest last November, when police said he fired a gun during a road-rage dispute near Michigan Avenue and Cullerton. In other Facebook videos from that time, Bocanegra says the other driver “was about to pull something out of his pants. I wasn’t going to wait to find out what.”

His next court date in that case had been scheduled for Nov. 13.

No one was in custody for the shooting or the hit-and-run crash as of Tuesday night. Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said detectives were interviewing several witnesses and reviewing surveillance camera video.