A second teen was killed outside a school on Chicago’s Southwest Side on Friday.
This comes after Chicago police released surveillance images of the suspect in the deadly shooting that killed two teens and injured two others on Saturday.
According to police, the shooting occurred directly outside Benito Juarez Community Academy in the 2100 block of Laflin Street in Pilsen.
Nathan Billegas, 14, has been identified as one of the two victims by family members.
Billegas was a freshman at Chicago Bulls College Prep, according to his family.
They said he was at Benito Juarez Community Academy with his friend, 15-year-old Brandon Perez, when shots were fired.
Both of their friends were shot and killed. Perez was identified as one of the victims by the Cook County Medical Examiner on Friday afternoon.
The shooting also injured two other teenagers, who are expected to survive.
“If you knew him, you knew that he would do anything for anybody,” Billegas’ sister said. “And, I hope we get justice for him.”
While her family mourns the murder of her younger brother, she is terrified to show her face but eager to have her voice heard.
The shooting occurred just as classes were ending and students were heading outside.
According to police, Billegas and Perez were both fatally shot in the head. Another 15-year-old boy was shot in the thigh and shoulder, and a 15-year-old girl was hit in the thigh with a graze wound. Both were taken to Stroger Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.
“I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Not even my worst adversary, “His sister explained.
Billegas’ sister told ABC7 that she witnessed the two teenagers’ final moments before they were taken to Stroger Hospital, where they died. She stated that she was on the phone with her brother, who was meeting Perez outside of the school. When she claims he hung up the phone, she heard shots, ran to them, and discovered them both on the ground.
“We were on the phone, and I heard what they said, and that was the end of it. I had a feeling it would be my brother, but I refused to believe it “She stated. “The phone rang, and all I could hear were shots. And when I went to my brother, he was on the floor, and I was just astounded to see my little brother in such a state.”
Billegas’ grandmother is in tears now. Her granddaughter, interpreting her grandmother’s anguish.
“She would say to him that she loves him a lot, and he’s always going to be a little boy because she raised him,” Billegas’ grandmother, Nanette Hernandez, said.
“He was too young for this to happen to him,” Billegas’ sister explained. “I hope he feels really guilty for what he did, and I hope that it eats him alive.”
According to fire officials, the shooting occurred outside the school, and one of the victims fled inside during the incident.
The school was immediately placed on lockdown, and students were ushered back inside for several hours while police investigated.
“We’re all looking for answers. Of course, I’m concerned because this occurred on our property “said Pedro Martinez, CEO of Chicago Public Schools.
According to Constance Jones, CEO of Noble Schools, one of the students killed and one of the students injured were Noble Schools students.
“We send our condolences to the families of these students and we stand in solidarity with the Benito Juarez High School community as they grieve during this time,” Constance said.
In a series of tweets Saturday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said, in part, “I am beyond outraged by this incident, which highlights the pressing need for illegal guns to be taken off our streets and out of the hands of those seeking to cause harm.”
Police have not said whether or not the shooting was premeditated.
“It’s frightening to hear about all of these school shootings. It’s terrifying to learn that your daughter attends one of the schools that was recently targeted “Another school parent, Emanuel Orozco, agreed.
No one is in custody, and Area Three detectives are looking into it.
CPS issued the following statement:
“The safety of our school community is our top priority. This afternoon, we received reports that shots had been fired outside of Benito Juarez High School shortly after dismissal. The Chicago Police Department (CPD) and paramedics responded quickly to the scene. CPS remains in close contact with CPD and this incident is under investigation. The CPS Office of Safety and Security and other District leadership are working closely with school leadership and staff as well as CPD to gather information and respond to this incident. CPS will keep Benito Juarez families updated as well as the greater community. Our thoughts are with all those impacted by this tragedy.”
“Schools are the cornerstone of neighborhoods and students deserve to feel safe,” Governor JB Pritzker said on Twitter Friday. “We must put an end to these unspeakable tragedies and rid our communities of gun violence.”
Senator Dick Durbin also expressed his condolences on Twitter following the fatal shooting, writing, in part, “This year, Congress made strides. But, with gun violence now the leading cause of death among children in America, we must do more.”
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