‘Kia boy’ murdered 2 people while awaiting trial for stolen vehicle case, prosecutors say

Eli Rivera is seen in a photo distributed with a missing person bulletin in March 2023. | Chicago Police Department

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.

#1: Chicago man stabbed, beat roommate to death while awaiting trial for burglary, prosecutors say (February 18, 2023)

#2: Attempted murder charge for woman who randomly stabbed victim while on bail for randomly stabbing other people (March 5, 2023)

#3: She tried to kill a woman while on bail for trying to kill yet another woman, prosecutors say (April 7, 2023)

#4: Mayou’llged with killing woman while on felony bail after Chicago cops gather a mountain of video evidence, prosecutors say (April 7, 2023)

#5: Convicted murderer killed 2, wounded 1 while on electronic monitoring for gun possession, prosecutors say (April 18, 2023)

#6: Man killed 1, tried to kill another while on felony bail, prosecutors say (April 29, 2023)

#7: Man shot good Samaritan who went to check on him inside wrecked, smoking car, prosecutors say (May 5, 2023)

#8: 4 people, all with extensive juvenile criminal backgrounds, killed off-duty Chicago cop during armed robbery: prosecutors (May 10, 2023)

#9: Man accidentally shot front seat passenger while handling gun in car’s back seat, prosecutors say (May 23, 2023)

#10: Chicago man shot his brother because he was ‘tired of’ the sibling, prosecutors say (June 3, 2023)

#11: Chicago man killed robbery victim while on electronic monitoring for another robbery case: prosecutors (June 5, 2023)

#12: Man shot at, tried to kill Chicago cops while on parole and felony bail, prosecutors say (June 8, 2023)

#13: Seven-time felon shot a long-time friend, ‘firing round after round,’ while on felony bail, prosecutors say (July 11, 2023)

#14: Man on bail for machine gun possession opened fire on pedestrians, shooting a 16-year-old, officials say (July 13, 2023)

#15: Hitman killed target while on bail for trying to disarm a cop, prosecutors say (July 22, 2023)

#16: Brothers shot two women during family gathering in Bronzeville, prosecutors say (August 3, 2023)

#17: Drive-by shooter killed 1, injured 4, and accidentally shot an accomplice while on bail for machine gun possession, prosecutors say (August 25, 2023)

#18: Man tried to kill 2 Chicago firefighters while on bail awaiting new trial for a 2005 murder case, prosecutors say (September 14, 2023)

#19: 3 charged in armed robbery turned shooting in Homan Square (September 2, 2023)

#20: Woman who stabbed girl to death in the Loop was awaiting trial for robbing Red Line passenger, prosecutors say (October 7, 2023)

#21: Chicago man fired shots at two people while on bail for a felony gun case, prosecutors say (October 16, 2023)

#22: 17-year-old cut off ankle monitor, killed a man at South Side gas station: prosecutors (October 27, 2023)

#23: Chicago man viciously stabbed ex’s new boyfriend while on bail for a felony gun case: prosecutors (October 28, 2023)

#24: Chicago man fired into a crowd of people, killing 1 and injuring another, while on bail for a Class X gun charge: prosecutors (November 7, 2023)

#25: Man chased down, killed woman while on bail for stolen motor vehicle and firearm allegations: prosecutors (November 10, 2023)

#26: Chicago man shot another man while on bail for a Class X felony gun charge, prosecutors say (November 24, 2023)

2022 “not horrible” cases

2021 “not horrible” cases

2020 “not horrible” cases

2019 “not horrible” cases2019 “not horrible” cases

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About Tim Hecke 215 Articles
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 tim@cwbchicago.com