SOUTH CHICAGO — Natalie Ortiz said her husband of six months, Edgar Ortiz, was “fiercely protective” of her and their seven-month-old daughter, Melony. In the early morning hours of September 26th, Edgar was left unable to protect himself from an assailant’s bullets.
While he was walking into a friend’s house in the 8200 block of South Houston Avenue around 2:15 a.m., Edgar was approached by an unknown offender and shot multiple times in the head and body. He was transported to Northwestern Hospital, where he was later pronounc, police said.
Natalie, 19, said her husband used to be involved in a gang but when she became pregnant with their first child last year, Edgar cut ties with the gang.
“No involvement anymore,” said Natalie. “He stopped completely.”
In 2009, Ortiz was charged with reckless conduct, though he was not convicted of the charge, according to Cook County court records. He was also charged with aggravated assault, but that charge was dropped as well, court records show. In 2011, he pled guilty to criminal defacement of property, according to court records.
Natalie said Edgar was “ambitious for the future” and he “wanted more, in a good way.” Although he dropped out of high school his junior year, he had a steady job as a security guard downtown and had just started GED classes.
“He wanted to be a police officer,” said Natalie.
Natalie and Edgar met through friends in high school and she called it “love at first sight.” A week after meeting, she was making the 2-hour bus trek from her North Side home to his family’s far South side home as much as she could. The two were married on March 17th, 2012 in City Hall.
“He was always very, very out there,” Natalie said, smiling. “He made friends easily, and he loved to go to movies, eat out and shop.”
Her husband also had a weakness for Air Jordan shoes — he even bought a pair for his baby girl the week before he died.
“He was very loving,” Natalie said, pointing to the tiny blue-and-white sneakers on her baby daughter’s feet.