3 Killed, 1 Badly Injured Outside NW Side Bar: After a shooting spree early on Sunday morning at a birthday party on the city’s Northwest Side, three people are dead and one is critically injured. Around 2:26 in the morning, a gunshot took place at the Vera Lounge, which is situated in the 5500 block of West School Street.
Maria Vera, 25, was celebrating her birthday inside the lounge with family and friends. According to police, a quarrel that started inside the bar spilled outside into the street, when a guy opened fire before escaping in a dark SUV. Since then, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the victims.
After being shot in the head and chest, 50-year-old Ricky Vera, whose brother runs the club, was declared dead on the spot. His daughter Maria Vera, who had been wounded in the head, was rushed to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center and was in critical condition when she arrived.
Mario Pozuelos, 26, of Franklin Park, and Mercedes Tavares, 24, of Chicago Heights, two of Maria’s friends, were transported to Mount Sinai Hospital with several gunshot wounds. Both were determined to be dead.
Cmdrs. Brennan and Daniel will provide an update at 8am from the corner of Central & Melrose.
— Tom Ahern (@TomAhernCPD) December 11, 2022
Ricky Vera’s friend Oscar Ortiz claimed that they were celebrating Maria’s birthday on Saturday night when the altercation started. “This dad was arguing with his daughter when he came out and said, ‘Hey, that’s my daughter,’ and he simply turned to him, walked to the car, came back, and shot him point blank,” Ortiz claimed. Family members regarded Ricky as a family man and Maria as caring and giving.
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Ortiz described him as a “great spouse, excellent father, excellent grandfather, excellent brother; he opened his doors to everyone.” Large groups can be seen inside the lounge in a video that was shared on social media an hour or so before the violence broke out outside.
On Sunday during the day, violent interrupters from Rincon Family Services were out in the community assisting the Portage Park neighborhood to stop this from happening again. “This won’t take place in my neighborhood. I’m a local. I have been here for around 20 years. It will not take place, “Rosario Villalobos from Rincon Family Services stated.
Ortiz is pleading with this community to behave more like his friend Ricky until the authorities identify the offender. “Just be polite to everyone. Be joyful to others. Laugh with others. Smiling with others relies on people “said he. What sparked the altercation that resulted in the shooting is unknown. On Sunday evening, nobody was in custody.