Man charged with shooting tourist, killing passerby while AWOL on gun case, prosecutors say

Angel Ayala | CPD

Last June 30, Chicago police pursued a car allegedly used in a shooting earlier in the day. After the vehicle crashed, all of its occupants bailed out and ran. Cops arrested one of them, Angel Ayala, and allegedly found a loaded AR-15 rifle behind the seat he had been riding in.

But prosecutors declined to file a felony gun charge in the case. Instead, Ayala was charged with misdemeanor reckless conduct, and he went home from the police station on a recognizance bond, CPD records show.

Ayala, 22, went AWOL and never showed up for a single court date, prosecutors said Saturday as they charged him with shooting a tourist and murdering a passerby during last weekend’s Puerto Rican Day festivities.

Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said a carload of Milwaukee residents who came to Chicago to enjoy Puerto Rican Day was riding in the 3300 block of West North Avenue as several people walked around their car last Saturday evening.

Ayala, wearing a purple sweatshirt, white pants, and sporting “poofy hair,” threw up Latin King hand gestures and demanded to know where the carload of Milwaukeeans was from, Murphy said.

The 20-year-old then pulled out a gun and began shooting at the visitors’ car, striking a 23-year-old male passenger in the thigh, according to Murphy.

Another round flew across the street and struck 37-year-old Nichole Osborne in her back as she walked with her husband, Murphy said. Osborne instantly fell to the ground.

Osborne’s husband, Brenndon Struk, wrote a detailed account of her slaying on GoFundMe this week.

“I stopped talking with 911 and held Nichole’s cheek and asked basic questions. She wasn’t responding. I started to panic, so I asked her to say anything. I cupped her cheek with my only free hand and looked her in the eyes…that’s when I lost it. Her eyes had lost focus and she wasn’t moving,” Struk wrote.

“Baby say anything, just speak to me. Stay with me please! I love you”. I saw her mouth moving, but nothing was coming out.”

Brenndon Struck and Nichole Osborne | GoFundMe

His wife died. The other victim survived, but he still has the bullet stuck in his leg, according to Murphy.

The shooting was captured on video, and Ayala is “clearly visible” on the footage, Murphy said. Detectives recognized Ayala in the footage and tried to arrest him Monday, but he allegedly sped away from them. They caught up with him Thursday as he allegedly tried to crawl out of a window at his Blue Island home.

Ayala admitted to shooting the gun but said the people in the car shot at him first, Murphy said. But the video footage does not support his claim, the veteran prosecutor alleged.

Ayala, who was convicted of aggravated battery in 2019, was also charged with carjacking in 2018, court records show. He’s now charged with first-degree murder and four counts of attempted first-degree murder.

A public defender said Ayala just started a new job at an airport, but he didn’t say which one.

Judge Charles Beach ordered Ayala held without bail.

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