CHICAGO — A "chief enforcer" for the Latin Kings ordered fellow gang members to shoot a man in 2009 as part of "Hood Day," Cook County Prosecutors said.
Peoria resident Jesus Zuniga, 28, was charged in a murder prosecutors said he helped commit more than three years ago in the East Side. He appeared in Cook County Bond Court Monday for his role in the killing of 24-year-old Carlton Ewing.
Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Jamie Dickler said Zuniga declared Aug. 17, 2009, "Hood Day," a day when Latin King members seek out rivals on the street and shoot at them.
Zuniga gave one of his two co-defendants a gun and ordered the lower-ranking gang members "to do his dirty work" and "shoot at rivals," Dickler said. Ewing had been mistaken for a rival gang member when Zuniga gave the order to shoot, she said.
Ewing, who was shot to death in the 9800 block of South Ewing Avenue the evening of Aug. 17, 2009, and his friends drove past a group of men in the block who were shouting gang slogans and flashing gang signs, police said. Soon after, Ewing and others in the car heard shots.
Ewing, a passenger in the back of the car, reportedly told his friends he had been hit in the back, cops said. Police said his friends drove several blocks before they could get help.
Ewing, reportedly of East Hyde Park, was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn but later died, police said.
Afterward, Chicago Police issued a community alert with surveillance photos of the suspected men. It took three years to charge them.
Police said Juan Macias, of the 10100 block of South Avenue N in East Side, was charged with first-degree murder on Sept. 2, 2009. Macias was 21 at the time of his arrest. Robert Schultz, of the 9500 block of South Avenue L, was charged with first-degree murder on Jan. 31, 2010. He was 18 at the time, police said.
Police arrested Zuniga at his home in Peoria on Friday. On Monday, Cook County Judge Adam Bourgeois, Jr. ordered him held without bail.
"You are a dangerous individual, and you participated in these acts," Adams said.
Zuniga has denied that he has gang ties.