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Father Warned Murdered Son About Gang Life

By Becky Schlikerman | January 8, 2013 12:49am | Updated on January 8, 2013 11:10am

CHICAGO — A gang conflict followed tow truck driver Max Vallejo to work.

Vallejo and his boss were inside the tow truck when a rival gang member allegedly shot and killed the 26-year-old, said Vallejo’s father, Max Vallejo Sr.

The younger Vallejo was shot in the head early May 9, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. No one has been apprehended in connection with his murder, according to Chicago police data.

The younger Vallejo, who lived in West Englewood with his girlfriend, was a member of the Latin Eagles gang, his father said. But about four months before he was killed, Vallejo started a new job as a tow truck driver and it was the beginning of changes in Vallejo’s life, his father said.

“Once he got the job, he started seeing money, he was forgetting the gangbaging,” the elder Vallejo said.

It was while on the job that Vallejo was killed, his dad said. He and his boss were waiting to be called to a car they needed towing. The pair waited for calls at a Citgo gas station in the 3600 block of North Ashland Avenue in the Lakeview neighborhood.

Early that May morning, Vallejo and a man who allegedly belongs to the rival Spanish Gangster Disciples got into an argument, Max Vallejo Sr. said. The man left but came back to the gas station about 15 minutes later and  “shot up” the tow truck, he said. Vallejo was shot in the head and the other man was shotin the stomach, authorities said.

It was a “back and forth thing with both of them,” Vallejo’s father said. “They gang bang with each other and they fight each other.”

Vallejo Sr. said he had tried to warn his son, a father of three, about living the street life because he had been involved with a gang decades ago.

A former member of the Campbell Boys gang, the elder Vallejo, now of Schiller Park, left the gang when he found the love of his life and started a family, he said. By the time the elder Vallejo settled down, his namesake son was a toddler and wasn’t raised by his father.

“I tried to keep him away from it,” Vallejo Sr., said. “Letting him know it’s not a life.”

But his son didn’t listen. The younger Vallejo has a lengthy rap sheet in Cook County with convictions for robbery, battery and possession of stolen items, among others, according to court records.

And though father and son developed a relationship, the fatherly-influence wasn’t enough to keep Vallejo, a Cubs fan, off the street.

“It’s just the gangs screwed up his head,” his father said.