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Three Questioned in Shooting of 14-Year-Old in Pilsen

By  Darryl Holliday and Alex Parker  | April 7, 2013 6:09pm | Updated on April 8, 2013 10:53am

 A boy that friends identified as Michael Orozco was fatally shot in the chest Sunday in the 2200 block of South Leavitt Street.
A boy that friends identified as Michael Orozco was fatally shot in the chest Sunday in the 2200 block of South Leavitt Street.
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DNAinfo/Darryl Holliday

PILSEN — Friends and neighbors watched from the sidewalk as paramedics worked to save a young boy's life.

The boy, identified by friends as 14-year-old Michael Orozco, was fatally shot about 4:30 p.m. Sunday while walking in the 2200 Block of South Leavitt Street.

Men in a green Dodge Caravan had pulled up to the boy, said Robert Garcia, whose home sits near the spot where Orozco lay. One then stepped out and began firing from about 20 feet away, he said.

Out of the four or five shots Garcia heard, at least two bore into Orozco's chest before the shooters sped away.

"You would figure on a [nice] day like this things would be all right, but you just never know," Garcia said. "His mom has been trying hard to keep him safe."

Police said the incident has "strong gang overtones," and three "documented gang members" were quickly taken into custody. Everyone involved, including the victim, is a documented gang members, police said.

On Monday, officer John Mirabelli, a police spokesman, said three "persons of interest" were taken in for questioning after the shooting. Officers found a car fitting the description of the one driven in the shooting and took three men into custody shortly after the incident, Mirabelli said. A gun was recovered, he said.

"He'd been told 20,000 times 'don't walk with them,'but you get with your homies and you know ... the kids just don't learn," said Garcia's grandmother, who has known Orozco since he was young.

At the time, she didn't know that he had died.

On the opposite corner, three of the boy's young friends stood on a set of stairs, one in a Batman hoodie, holding a soccer ball.

Orozco liked to play basketball, they said. He had just left a nearby park when he was shot.

One stretched her hand in the air in an attempt to describe him.

"He's tall," she said of the Arturo Velasquez Technical Institute freshman, "He was wearing black and red. He's nice. Funny. He has short hair."

Less than an hour after the shooting, the kids said they weren't scared and will continue to play on the block.

Orozco wasn't the first of their friends to be shot.

"It's an everyday thing," said Dezarae, 14.

Orozco was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Hospital at 4:56 p.m. The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office has not released more information about him.