CHICAGO — Just before he was killed, Jorge Marrero was outside with his 3-year-old son.
“He told my mom take the baby inside,” said Marrero’s sister, Martha Marrero. “He got the feeling something wrong was going to happen to him.”
Minutes later, Marrero, 27, was shot in the head while in a yard with a friend, his sister and authorities said. Marrero was shot late March 18 in the 1300 block of North Harding Avenue, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. He was pronounced dead hours later on March 19 at the medical examiner’s Stein Institute.
“When [my mom] heard the gunshots, she went to the bathroom and hid with the baby,” Martha Marrero said. “The only last words my mom heard was ‘Oh God’ — that was the last thing he said. The last thing the baby heard was ‘Oh God.'"
Francisco Herrera, 24, and Juan Romero, 18, had been charged with murder, court records show.
Marrero, who was a member of the Maniac Latin Disciples street gang, had only been out of jail since January, his sister said. Marrero, a felon, had been convicted of possessing a firearm in 2010 and had been sentenced to four years in state prison, court records show.
Since his release, Marrero, who went by the nickname “Chavo,” had matured and wanted to go to welding school and start providing for his two children, his family said.
The Puerto Rican man also loved reggaeton, a music genre that has its roots on the island. Marrero’s dad was a musician and the passion for music “was in his blood,” said Marrero’s mother, Jeanette Santiago.
While the family knows Marrero had done wrong — court records show he had theft, weapon and drug convictions — they said he wasn’t all bad.
“I don’t say he was perfect. … He was involved in gangs but he did good things. He was noble,” his mother said in Spanish.
Days before he died, Marrero went to his mother while she lay in bed and told her, “Mom I love you so much. I am so sorry if I disrespected you. I just want you to know that I love you. You have been the only one that’s been there for me.”