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Dad of Toddler Shot Six Times as Part of Gang Initiation, Prosecutor Says

By Emily Morris | July 28, 2013 4:31pm | Updated on July 28, 2013 4:47pm
 Esteban Sotelo, 19, of the 2100 block of South Fairfield Avenue, is charged with attempted murder. He is being held without bail.
Esteban Sotelo, 19, of the 2100 block of South Fairfield Avenue, is charged with attempted murder. He is being held without bail.
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Chicago Police Department

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — An admitted gang member nicknamed "Sniper" was ordered held without bail Sunday after prosecutors said he shot a father, who was with his toddler daughter, as part of a gang initiation.

Esteban Sotelo, 19, was charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery with discharge of a gun and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.

Sotelo and a 14-year-old accomplice agreed to shoot a rival Satan Disciple member as part of the juvenile's initiation into the Latin Kings street gang, according to Assistant State's Attorney Heather Kent and police.

The 29-year-old victim was leaving his mother's Little Village home with his wife and 20-month-old daughter in the 2700 block of West 24th Street Thursday about 4:40 p.m., according to Kent and court documents.

As he was about to put his 20-month-old daughter in her car seat, Sotelo approached him, thinking the father was a Satan Disciple, and asked "What's up?," Kent said in bond court Sunday.

The man turned to face Sotelo, acting as a shield between Sotelo and his baby daughter, Kent said. 

Sotelo then took out a revolver and shot the man six times in the legs, back and neck, Kent said. Sotelo fled with his accomplice, but police arrested them a short time later, Kent said.

The victim was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where as of Sunday he was in the intensive care unit with a bullet lodged in the nasal cavity below his eye, Kent said. No one else was injured in the incident.

Sotelo told police he'd hidden the gun in a bag of mulch. When cops searched the area, they found the gun, according to Kent.

Multiple witnesses identified Sotelo as the man who approached the victim and shot him several times, and Sotelo admitted to police and an assistant state's attorney that he shot the victim, Kent said. According to Kent, Sotelo is currently on probation for manufacturing or delivering cocaine.

Sotelo, an admitted gang member, is nicknamed "Sniper," according to court documents.

The 14-year-old was charged as a juvenile with aggravated battery-discharge of a firearm, police said. Authorities did not give the juvenile's name.

Judge James Brown ordered Sotelo, of the 2100 block of South Fairfield Avenue, held without bail.