Juvenile accused in 8-year-old Melissa Ortega murder has criminal record for carjacking and gun charges – Greeley Tribune

Chicago (CBS) — The teenager accused of killing 8-year-old Melissa Ortega has been in trouble with the law before, facing previous carjacking and gunshot charges.

CBS 2 investigators have learned from law enforcement sources — at the time the 16-year-old was arrested for the murder of Melissa Ortega, he was on probation for aggravated carjacking in 2021. And we are told that this teenager has also been arrested on gun charges.

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A spokesman for the Cook County state attorney’s office declined to comment on the teen’s criminal background Wednesday night.

“Any available information about the minor’s background will be provided to the court during the bail hearing tomorrow,” said state attorney’s office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton.

So far, the 16-year-old accused gunman is yet to be identified, but he is to appear in court on Thursday to face charges as an adult.

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said the teen was charged with one felony of first-degree murder and one felony count of first-degree murder and two felony counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm. The Little Village Shooting That Killed Melissa On Saturday when she was walking with her mother.

Also charged is 27-year-old Javier Guzmán, who police say was the driver in that shooting. Guzman is facing one felony count of first-degree murder and one felony count of attempted first-degree murder.

Melissa and her mother left Mexico in August.

“It’s an eight-year-old Latina who could have been,” activist Keith Thornton said. “She came from Mexico to live a better life.”

Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx said the two would be in Bond court on Thursday and that the teen would be charged as an adult. Foxx said the 16-year-old accused has a juvenile record, but did not elaborate.

“The murder of eight-year-old Melissa Ortega is gruesome. Melissa is an American dream taken from all of us, basically and foolishly, while walking down the street with her mother on a Saturday afternoon,” Fox said. “So Melissa’s mom and her family, I have no words to comfort you. But I am committed to getting you justice.”

A third grade student at Emiliano Zapata Academy, Melissa was new to Chicago—here since August—and excited to make a better life with her mom from Mexico.

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But on Saturday afternoon, on her way to get a hamburger from the bank, hand in hand with her mother on 26th Street and on Pulaski Road in Little Village, gang violence stole it all from her and her family.

Brown said the investigation began in Little Village on Saturday afternoon when officers responded to a Shotspotter alert call just before 3:00 p.m.

“Our investigation determined that three alleged gang members were standing on Kaminski’s corner. Moments later, a man emerged near an alleyway to the south of their location and removed a handcuff. Just then Melissa and her mother were crossing the street. Were and were shot in the head, literally shot in the head,” said Brown, who added another man was the target.

“(a) The gunman’s intended target, a 29-year-old male, was also shot as he attempted to flee with gunfire. Detectives later used license plate reader technology, along with pod video cameras and private surveillance video. Identified and tracked the vehicle used in the shooting.

Police have said that Melissa and her mother who tried to escape were part of a gang war. A family member told CBS 2’s Jackie Kostek that Melissa’s mother isn’t ready to talk about her daughter just yet. That family member had said that she hopes that no one will have to go through the phase that she is going through now.

Brown said the CPD, the mayor’s office, and the state attorney’s office worked closely to determine the charges, but the Little Village community was also important.

The family released a statement Sunday, describing Melissa as a girl who wanted to experience the snow of Chicago, make her own stuffed animal at Build-A-Bear and dance TikTok with her friends. wanted to do

Baltazar Enriquez, President Little Village Community Counciltold CBS 2’s Jim Williams and Mary Saavedra on Monday that their organization is seeking federal help — and mental health clinics in the community in particular.

“We are calling on our congressman, Jesus Garcia, to come and help the community – bring us federal funding. We are asking for mental health clinics here in Little Village, because our community is hurting. Our society is hurt. There is trauma. Our children are in shock,” Enriquez said. “So what happens when you’re a mom and they kill your baby? where do you run where do you ask for help? There are none of these centers here in Little Village.”

Enriquez said he is also calling on Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Gov. JB Pritzker to help bring the funds needed to develop tools to help the community fight and prevent crime.

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“Mental health is a very important issue, and we see violence in our community and our children being generalized to murder, death, it’s absolutely normal. Okay. So it shouldn’t be okay. So We’re fighting for our kids to have a place where they go and get the services they need.” And we need that right now. We don’t need it tomorrow or next week. We need it now. ,

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