2 men charged in slaying of DePaul student

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2 men charged in slaying of DePaul student

Unread post by alexalonso » November 5th, 2009, 1:52 pm

This topic correspond to the post that can be found at http://www.streetgangs.com/news/110509_ ... laying/:by Kristen Mack (Chicago Tribune)
November 5, 2009

Two reputed gang members were charged with murder Wednesday in the slaying of a DePaul University senior at a Halloween party.

Narciso Gatica, 19, crashed the Logan Square party early Sunday, police said. The uninvited guest, who partygoers said stood out from the rest of the crowd, was asked to leave.

"Gatica was very upset by this perceived slight and in retaliation decides he's going to shoot up the house," Chicago police detective Cmdr. Joseph Salemme said.

Gatica went to the home of Berlit Valladares, 21, in the 2600 block of West Cortland Street, and told him "that he needed a gun to shoot someone," Salemme said. "Valladares supplied Gatica with a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol."

Gatica returned to the party, in the 1700 block of Rockwell Street, 30 minutes later as Francisco "Frankie" Valencia and another DePaul senior, Daisy Camacho, came down the stairs to let a guest in, police said.

Gatica fired four to six shots, killing Valencia and wounding Camacho. Neither were the intended targets, police said.

Detectives found video from a security camera mounted at a nearby residence that captured Gatica leaving and returning to the party, Salemme said.

Gatica and Valladares were charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder, said Tandra Simonton, a spokeswoman for the Cook County state's attorney's office.

Valencia's friends said his combination of intellect, street smarts and idealism made him a standout at DePaul. He used his ambition, charisma and personal story of struggle to encourage other "young men of color to persevere in their educational pursuits," DePaul spokeswoman Denise Mattson said.

Valencia's mother, Joy McCormack, said Valencia also was a role model to his younger siblings. He volunteered at Chicago public schools and for the Barack Obama campaign. He also traveled to Colombia on a humanitarian mission.

"His ambition, idealism, intelligence, enthusiasm and commitment made him a natural leader," McCormack said in a statement. "He aspired to have a career in politics and to serve as an example to the Latino community."

From his earliest days on campus, Valencia honed his leadership skills through student employment and volunteer activities, DePaul said in a statement. "We've lost a role model and devoted friend," the university said.

A vigil was held by the Alliance of Local Service Organizations on Wednesday at the site where Valencia was killed. ALSO is part of CeaseFire, an organization that works with gang members who might be looking for revenge and mediates between warring gangs to prevent more violence.

"We usually hear a lot of things whenever there's been violence, but in this case we've heard nothing," said David Cassel, CeaseFire's executive director. "It leads me to believe this was not a planned killing."

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