Two men who shot an opposing gang member in a random attack on Monday evening were arrested before they could even flee the scene because Chicago cops were tipped off to the shooting by the city’s ShotSpotter gunfire detection network, officials said. And a concealed-carry holder who was near the victim allegedly returned fire, injuring a passenger in their car.
One of the accused men, Julius Hernandez, was released from custody to await trial for a pending felony gun charge in juvenile court exactly one week before the murder.
Hernandez, who turned 18 on June 18, is the 35th person accused of killing or shooting—or attempting to kill or shoot—someone in Chicago while awaiting trial for a felony this year. The alleged crimes involved at least 69 victims, 17 of whom died.
According to prosecutor Danny Hanichak, Hernandez and his alleged accomplice, Byron Queijeiro, 20, are part of a “gang and tagging crew” that is experiencing internal conflict between older members who are artists and taggers and younger members who want to make it more of a street gang involved in guns and narcotics.
Queijeiro picked up Hernandez and two other people on Monday evening to go to a memorial for a mutual friend who died of a drug overdose, according to Hanichak. Investigators later discovered a draft text message that Queijeiro allegedly typed about five minutes before the murder but never sent.
In it, he wrote that he had spotted an opposing gang member on 37th Street and was trying to decide whether or not to shoot him, Hanichak alleged.
Surveillance video shows Queijeiro circling the 3700 block of South Paulina around 7:20 p.m. and rolling up on a 31-year-old rival gang member who was standing next to a parked car, talking to a concealed carry holder, Hanichak continued.
The rival flashed a gang sign.
According to Hanichak, Queijeiro slowed the car as Hernandez leaned out the front passenger window and began shooting. The victim was hit by multiple rounds and died.
Meanwhile, the concealed carry holder he was talking to pulled out their gun and returned fire, hitting the back seat passenger in Queijeiro’s car.
Chicago police responded to a ShotSpotter alert and found Queijeiro’s car stopped in a nearby alley next to a dumpster, Hanichak said. He pulled away as cops arrived, but they stopped him and discovered that the man in Queijeiro’s back seat had been shot.
Officers detained everyone inside the vehicle and discovered a 9-millimeter handgun with a laser sight attached inside the dumpster where their car was seen, according to Hanichak. Hernandez was allegedly identified as the shooter by both back seat passengers. His hand tested positive for gunshot residue, but during an interview with police, he denied shooting the man.
According to Hanichak, a law enforcement database shows Queijeiro was adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile in Florida in 2015 for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
Queijeiro’s private defense attorney contended that he is not accused of shooting anyone and his “mere presence is not enough.” He questioned how law enforcement could know when the alleged draft text was written because it was never sent.
Judge Charles Beach granted a state motion to hold both men without bail.
The “not horrible” series
This report continues our coverage of individuals accused of killing, shooting, or trying to kill or shoot others while on bond for a pending felony case. CWBChicago began our series of reports in November 2019 after Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans publicly stated, “we haven’t had any horrible incidents occur” under the court’s bond reform initiative.
CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings.
Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets.
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