Pair charged in deadly Albany Park drive-byon April 28, 2021 at 8:02 pm

An alleged gunman and his getaway driver in a deadly Albany Park drive-by were ordered held without bail Wednesday.

Prezila Apreza, 20, slowed the silver Chevrolet Trailblazer she was driving on Sept. 16 so that Maverick Cela could shoot his weapon from the back seat at Samuel Lique, Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Kevin DeBoni said.

Lique was struck by the bullets as he stood on the sidewalk in front of a Metro PCS store, at 3627 W. Lawrence St.

“I got him,” Cela, 19, said after shooting at least nine 9-mm rounds at Lique, DeBoni said.

Maverick Cela arrest photo
Maverick Cela
Chicago police

Paramedics who treated Lique saw that he was armed with a 0.380-caliber handgun, but it was later determined that the weapon had not been fired, DeBoni said.

Lique, 20, was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

The shooting, which was captured by a Chicago police POD camera, took place during a spike in gun violence in Albany Park. It was the neighborhood’s third shooting within several days, and came less than 24 hours after five people were wounded in shooting a block away.

The Trailblazer used in Lique’s murder was found by police in Skokie that night for its alleged use in a credit card case. The license plates on the SUV were registered to Apreza, but they did not match the ones captured on surveillance footage of the shooting, DeBoni said.

Prezila Apreza arrest photo
Prezila Apreza
Chicago police

Apreza and Cela discussed the shooting on social media with each other and others for the next several days, DeBoni said. In one conversation, Cela mentioned to someone that there would be no shell casings inside the Trailblazer, but that his fingerprints might be inside, DeBoni said.

Cela also allegedly assured Apreza that police were looking for another person in connection to the murder. He also told her he could show her how to delete data from her cellphone, DeBoni said.

After Apreza and Cela were arrested Monday, Apreza admitted to changing the Trailblazer’s license plates before and after Lique’s shooting, DeBoni said. Apreza also allegedly told investigators she had driven Cela to the scene of the crime.

A witness who was in the Trailblazer’s front passenger seat at the time of the shooting also identified Apreza as the driver and Cela as the gunman, DeBoni said.

There was no evidence Apreza knew the shooting would take place, an assistant public defender said. She also had no motive for participating in the murder, the defense attorney added.

Cela lives with his mother in the city, another assistant public defender told Judge David Navarro.

Apreza and Cela are expected back in court May 18.

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