“As you saw from the horrific video, it wasn’t just one person. There’s one person who dealt the fatal shot. But, there were others who were standing by who dragged that poor woman out of the car,” the mayor said Monday.
An outraged Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday vowed to hunt down everyone involved in the “horrific” weekend shooting that left a man dead and a woman critically wounded in Humboldt Park.
Lightfoot said police have “promising leads” after tips from the community. They have identified a suspect who “did the shooting,” the mayor said, adding that she hopes that suspect will be in custody “relatively soon.”
But that’s not the end of the investigation, Lightfoot said.
“As you saw from the horrific video, it wasn’t just one person. There’s one person who dealt the fatal shot. But there were others who were standing by who dragged that poor woman out of the car. The man who was killed literally used his body as a shield and paid for that with his life,” the mayor said.
“The fact that happened in our city and so many individuals stood around and seemingly were trying to take advantage of this moment that, I believe, started with a car accident, is a horrific statement … about those men who were involved in that. I don’t believe they are typical by any stretch of young Black men in our city. But it’s horrific nonetheless.”
Lightfoot then delivered an ominous warning to the men she accused of being complicit in the horrific incident captured on a chilling video.
“You know who you are. People know who you are. You need to turn yourself in because we are gonna spare no resource whatsoever to find them and you and bring you to justice and make sure that these people who created such brazen chaos and harm are held in custody ’til they see their day in court,” the mayor said.
For the umpteenth time, Lightfoot demanded that Chief Judge Tim Evans order the full resumption of criminal trials for the first time since the pandemic.
“The fact that our criminal courts have been relatively inactive and closed for trials since March of 2020 makes no sense. We have federal trials that are happening in Chicago. We have criminal trials that are happening in surrounding areas,” the mayor said.
“The Chicago Police Department is doing its part. It’s investigating. It’s being proactive. It’s arresting people and bringing them to justice. But then, the cases sit and sit and sit. And we have way too many people out on pre-trial release because the courts are effectively closed. … Justice delayed is justice denied. Every part of the criminal justice ecosystem — not just the Chicago Police Department — needs to step up and get back to pre-COVID times. Otherwise, our communities are not gonna be safe.”
The crime that so outraged the mayor occurred Saturday night in the 3200 block of West Division.
About 9:15 p.m., the man and woman, 24 and 25, were ambushed by up to three males who fired shots at them, Chicago police said.
The man, Gyovanny Arzuaga, was rushed to Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
The woman was struck in the neck and rushed to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, police said.
A memorial for Arzuaga was erected Sunday just feet from where the 24-year-old father of two was shot dead in Humboldt Park a day earlier.
A black poster board with messages like “Happy Father’s Day” and “RIP Gyo” was taped to a post. Loved ones lit candles and left balloons and bouquets of flowers for Arzuaga, who was with a woman Saturday at Chicago’s annual Puerto Rican People’s Day Parade before they were attacked.
“He was just there to have a good time and go back home,” said his friend, Jae Pacheco, who had planned to meet up with him later in the evening.
Fragments of a broken red tail light littered the street near the memorial. A police spokeswoman said there was a crash before the shooting, leading a large crowd to surround Arzuaga’s vehicle in the 3200 block of West Division Street.
Arzuaga and the woman were ambushed by up to three men, who fired shots at them, police said.
Graphic surveillance footage purportedly showing Arzuaga’s killing was circulated widely online over the weekend, but a police spokeswoman couldn’t confirm whether the video actually depicts his shooting, which Area Four detectives are continuing to investigate.
Before the incident, police had shut down some of the streets surrounding Humboldt Park, creating traffic jams.
On Thursday, Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th) in a Facebook post expressed disappointment in the local police district’s “drastic” decision to close Luis Munoz Marin Drive, a street near the annual Puerto Rican Parade, in an attempt to prevent shootings. But a police spokesperson said Sunday the inner drive of the park has never been opened to vehicular traffic during the Puerto Rican Parade.
Maldonado didn’t respond to requests for comment Sunday.
Arzuaga was remembered Sunday as a family man and gym freak who was funny and “full of life,” said Pacheco.
“He was such an amazing friend. He was really caring,” Pacheco said. “… He was just about being around good vibes, being around good people.”
Pacheco said Arzuaga had just celebrated his 24th birthday Thursday.
“I was honestly blessed to have a friend like Gyovanny,” Pacheco said. “The last thing I told him on his birthday was, ‘God bless you with so many more because this world definitely needs people like you.’
Contributing: Jermaine Nolen, Tom Schuba, Madeline Kenney