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Humboldt Park Shooting Victim 'Was a Very Loved Person,' Friend Says

LOGAN SQUARE — A longtime friend of Andre "Choco" Velasquez said it was telling that Velasquez was trying to break up a fight when he was fatally shot early Sunday morning.

"He was very calm-tempered," said John Fischer, 50, who lived with Velasquez in the 2100 block of North Lawndale Avenue. "Like, he was trying to break up the fight."

Velasquez, 36, was shot dead about 6 a.m. Sunday morning in what a police source called an "illegal social club" used by the Spanish Cobras gang. Sources said Velasquez was breaking up a fight when the shooting occurred, though police would not confirm that.

Fischer said he's known Velasquez since he was a young man and befriended Fischer's daughter, now 29, but did not know him to be in a gang.

He was unsure what Velasquez did for a living, noting only that he would leave often and say he was going to a friend's house.

"I figured they were playing Xbox," he said.

For the last three years, Velasquez had been living with Fischer and his family.

His girlfriend, who also lives there, is five months pregnant with Velasquez's son, something Fischer and his wife, Peggy, 47, said he was very excited about.

"We would joke that he was going on 'Daddy Duty,' when he'd go out and buy stuff for the baby," Fischer said.

"He was doing everything he could to prepare for that baby," Peggy Fischer added.

As for the after-hours club Velasquez was hanging out in, John Fischer said he was unsure what it was all about.

"I never went there, and he [Velasquez] would never let me go there," he said.

According to sources, the bar would open around 2 a.m. and stay open for hours, sometimes as late as 8 a.m.

Police could not confirm the club held such hours, but did say there had been disturbances there in the past.

Velasquez is also survived by a 14-year-old daughter and a 9-year-old son. The Fischers said his funeral is still being planned.