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Slain McKinley Park Teen Had Been Celebrating Birthday of His Dead Brother

 Eduardo Venagas, 18, was shot and killed in the 3300 block of South Bell Avenue.
Eduardo Venagas Killed
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McKINLEY PARK — Efren Torres had only been home for 10 minutes when a girl started banging on his family's front door, screaming hysterically for his mother, to tell her that his little brother, Eduardo Venagas, had been shot.

"My mom was hysterical" Torres said, describing how he took his mother down a block to the scene where Venagas, 18, had been shot in the 3300 block of South Bell Avenue Sunday night.

"He was in severe condition and fighting to be alive," Torres said.

"I saw my brother not responding on the sidewalk. He left us ... lying on the sidewalk."

A neighbor tried to give Venagas mouth-to-mouth resuscitation but couldn't revive Venagas, who had been shot several times in the chest and grazed on his shoulder.

"I was in a state of shock. I didn't know if I should cry or scream. I felt useless," Torres said.

The family that night had been celebrating the birthday of a brother of Torres and Venagas who had died years earlier in a car accident. The family's home in the 3200 block of Bell still has cracks in a window from when shots were fired at that brother in another incident years before his death.

Venagas had been at home all day Sunday but had just left with five or six friends, family members said. About 11:25 p.m., he got into an argument with three people, and a man got out of a car and shot Venagas, Torres said.

"I was hoping he had been shot in his arm or somewhere he could survive," Torres said. "Guys get into fights. ... It never goes this far."

His mother remained hysterical until the family got to Stroger Hospital. Staff there told the family a bullet had hit one of Venagas' main blood vessels and he did not suffer as he died, Torres said.

Venagas, who was nicknamed Buddha, loved tattoo shops, restaurants and barber shops, and dreamed of a day when he could own a business that combined all three, his brother said. He hung around with barbers and recently got into graffiti art.

Torres wasn't not sure what the argument was about but said there were a lot of eyewitnesses who knew who the shooter was.

"Once [one witness] calmed down he knew everything. He gave the police every detail of the shooting," he said.

"Hopefully we'll get [the shooter] and the other two," Torres said as family and friends poured in and out of the house Monday morning grieving and giving the family their condolences.