A man celebrating his 24th birthday with family and friends early Sunday was killed when a masked gunman entered the Northwest Side surprise party and opened fire.
NBC Chicago reports that the man entered an apartment in the 2100 block of North LeClaire Avenue just before 2 a.m. Sunday and began shooting.
Harry Rodriguez, who would have been 24, was killed in the shooting. A 21-year-old man was wounded.
Rodriguez was a fork lift truck driver and also coached youth football and basketball, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. He was also a youth summer camp director who tried to keep kids off the streets.
Devastated friends and family members told the Sun-Times what happened before the fatal shooting:
The trouble at the party had started earlier Saturday evening when members of the Spanish Cobras approached one of Rodriguez’s cousins outside and asked him which gang he was in, Pedroza said. The cousin told the Cobras the partygoers were “neutrons” — people with no gang allegiance — but a fight broke out anyway, Pedroza said.
When the gunman came back “to retaliate” later that night, Rodriguez was shot, he added.
“My son was into sports. He had a life. He didn’t need to be in a gang,” the man's mother told CBS Chicago.
The second victim was listed in critical condition at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center Sunday morning, NBC Chicago reports. Police are investigating, and no arrests have been made.