CHICAGO — A 16-year-old driving a stolen Kia shot and killed two people last week while he was awaiting trial for another stolen motor vehicle case, prosecutors say. Eli Rivera is the 27th person accused of shooting, killing, or trying to shoot or kill someone in Chicago this year while awaiting trial for a felony. The cases involve at least 43 victims, 15 of whom died.
Rivera has been facing a felony stolen motor vehicle charge since Chicago police arrested him on March 10, according to court filings. Last Tuesday afternoon, December 12, he slid behind the wheel of a stolen Kia Soul and drove down the 3500 block of West 61st Place, officials say.
Three people later told police they saw Rivera fire a gun from the Kia’s driver’s side window, prosecutors said Sunday. The shots killed Mario Medina, 65, and 14-year-old Juan Medina. Police found 19 shell casings at the murder scene that were the same brand and caliber as ammunition found at Rivera’s house when police arrested him Friday, prosecutors said.
In a detention order, Judge Charles Beach said Rivera personally “indicates that he is a killer” who has “made threats over video toward other gangs and people.”
Some of those videos, posted to Rivera’s Instagram account, show him holding guns and making “incriminating statements,” Beach wrote in the order. According to prosecutors, some of the guns seen in the videos were modified to be fully automatic.
Rivera is charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
The “not horrible” series
This report continues our coverage of individuals accused of killing, shooting, or trying to kill or shoot others awaiting trial for a felony allegation. 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.
The actual number of murders and shootings committed by people awaiting trial for felony allegations is undoubtedly much higher than the numbers seen here. Since 2017, CPD has brought charges in less than 5% of non-fatal shootings and 33% of murders, according to the city’s data.
Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019.
His email address is email@example.com