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Life of Young 'Dreamer' Ends in Nightmare

By Becky Schlikerman | January 7, 2013 11:48pm
 Alejandro Jaime, 14, was shot dead May 18 while riding his bike in Brighton Park.
Alejandro Jaime, 14, was shot dead May 18 while riding his bike in Brighton Park.
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Family photo

BRIGHTON PARK — With the exuberance of a 14-year-old, Alejandro “Alex” Jaime was prone to dreaming big and quickly changing his mind about what he wanted to do when he grew up.

Before he died, Jaime was wavering between being a professional baseball player, a DJ or a chef, his family said. He wanted to be famous.

“Every month was a different dream,” said his sister, Rocio Alvarado, 23.

Jaime’s dreams will never be realized. The teen was shot dead May 18 while riding his bike in the 2600 block of West 37th Place, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office and his family.

Jaime planned to go to a neighborhood barbeque and he stopped at home to pick up a younger sibling. He sprayed himself with Axe body spray before going to the party.

After dropping off his brother, Jaime and and a 11-year-old friend left the barbeque on their bicycles. They were on their way to visit a girl Jaime had recently met when a car struck the boys. They fell from their bikes and ran, but a person inside the car apparently got out and shot at the kids, striking Jaime in the back, his family and authorities said.

Jaime’s family said he was not involved in gangs and had not been in any trouble. They’re not sure why he was shot.

No one has been charged, according to police data and Jaime’s family.

“He never did any harm to anybody,” Jaime’s mother, Victoria Alvarez, 48, said in Spanish. “That’s why it’s so much sadder, [the shooter] is on the street like nothing.”

Jaime, an 8th grader at Calmeca Academy, was hoping to enter a high school that had a chef’s training course so he could follow in his father’s footsteps, Alvarado said.

Just before he died, Jaime, one of seven kids, baked his family a chocolate cake.

“I told him it was the most delicious cake,” Alvarado said.

The goofy teenager loved his dog, a white and tan dog mutt named Butters, the Chicago White Sox and McDonald's — especially the fast food chain's sweet tea.

The family had lived in Brighton Park, but was looking for a new home on the far North Side to get away from violence on the South Side, Alvarez said.

Jaime’s family has since moved up north and have built a dining-room memorial honoring the dead teenager.

“He wanted to be famous,” Jaime’s mother said through tears. “One way or another he realized that goal.”