CHICAGO — Until a couple of months ago, there had not been a murder in the Forest Glen neighborhood on Chicago’s Far North Side in almost 13 years. That changed on April 24. On Thursday, prosecutors charged a man with participating in the crime.
Charged with first-degree murder, Hernan Saucedo was ordered held without bail by Judge Kelly McCarthy.
Saucedo, on parole for a felony gun case, was driving an SUV with two passengers when they passed 19-year-old Christopher Kudlik, who was driving a Jeep in the opposite direction, around 4:45 a.m., officials said.
Prosecutor Anne McCord said Saucedo pulled a U-turn and accelerated to catch up with Kudlik, who performed his own U-turn to escape. As he did, someone in the back seat of Saucedo’s SUV opened fire, striking him in the head, McCord said.
Kudlik drove a short distance and crashed into a parked car. Someone riding in his passenger seat got out and ran, then called 911.
Chicago police found 20 shell casings at the primary shooting scene that were fired from the same gun, said McCord. Three more casings were ejected from a different firearm.
While investigators did find a gun wedged between Kudlik’s seat and center console, it was fully loaded, and neither his passenger nor witnesses reported seeing him with a firearm, McCord continued.
She said someone sent Kudlik’s home address to Saucedo a few weeks before the murder. After the shooting, Saucedo allegedly searched “multiple times” for information online about the murder on his phone.
But his defense attorney countered that it’s not illegal to look up information about a shooting, and he may have been interested for other reasons.
Police tracked Saucedo’s SUV for an hour before and an hour after the shooting, and its interior allegedly tested positive for gunshot residue. McCord said that Saucedo’s phone pinged along with the SUV’s movements throughout that time.
McCord said Saucedo’s passengers, whom she called “unarrested co-offenders,” remain at large.
Days after the shooting, Saucedo was arrested at the Brickyard Mall after Chicago police allegedly found him in possession of a loaded firearm and three grams of suspected crack cocaine. He is on electronic monitoring for that case.
Forest Glen is among Chicago’s least-violent neighborhoods. The April 24 murder is only the fifth in the community area since 2001, according to city records. Chicago police have made arrests in four of the five cases.