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Family Searches for Closure After 24-Year-Old Father Killed in Gage Park

By Erica Demarest | September 9, 2013 3:54pm
 Adrian Sianez, 24, was shot to death during a drive-by in Gage Park Sunday morning.
Adrian Sianez
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GAGE PARK — A Gage Park family is struggling to find answers after 24-year-old Adrian Sianez was shot to death early Sunday.

"We don't know who he was with at the last moments," said his sister, Jessica Sianez, 27. His friends "never actually tell me the truth. They’re switching stories.

"It gets frustrating because we’re never going to know. And I know the police are going to try to investigate, but [for them] it’s just going to be another everyday gang shooting — easily forgotten. I just want to know what happened," she said.

Adrian Sianez — a construction worker and documented gang member who has a 4-year-old daughter — was fatally shot about 3:40 a.m.

He had been outside drinking with friends in the 5500 block of South Mozart Street when rival gang members pulled up in an SUV and began shooting, according to relatives and police.

Sianez tried to run away, but was hit multiple times in his back and buttocks. He was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:11 a.m. Sunday.

Speaking Monday from her family's Gage Park home, Jessica Sianez said she's worried detectives might write off her brother as just another gangbanger.

"They can try to figure it out, but I just know that it’s not a priority to them because this is just an everyday gang-related shooting," she said. "They’ll probably say, ‘Oh, well, yes. We found that it was a rival gang.’ OK. Yeah. I know that part."

Relatives said they want to know who shot Adrian Sianez and what he was doing in his final moments.

No one was in custody Monday afternoon, police said, and no new details had emerged in the case.

Adrian "was my best friend," said Jessica Sianez, who lived with her brother and parents in the 5400 block of South Rockwell Street. "I could tell him anything, and he wouldn’t judge. He’d just listen and say something funny.”

Family members described Adrian Sianez as personable, social and happy. He was a bit of a flirt who always made a point to shake hands and chat with new people, they said.

"He always got along with everybody," his sister said. "He could always adapt to any situation. If it was laid-back, he’d be laid-back. If it was a party, he’d be partying."

Adrian Sianez worked as a roofer — a trade he learned as a kid helping his uncle. Sianez took some college classes but "got impatient," his sister said. "He wanted to start working right away.”

He first got involved with gangs when he was a student at Gage Park High School, his sister said. Members of two rival gangs regularly beat up the teen for being unaffiliated, Jessica Sianez said.

“He had to pick [one to join] for his own safety. That's how it is," Jessica Sianez said, calling her brother's situation common for boys in Gage Park.

"You don’t even want to have a son," she said. "It’s like, why can’t I just have daughters? The neighborhood has just gotten really bad."

As Adrian Sianez progressed from "just hanging out" with gang members to actually joining a gang after his best friend was killed, his family worried.

"It was stressful," Jessica Sianez said. "It was like you were always walking on eggshells. My mother was depressed. Every weekend, I texted him, ‘Be careful.’"

Steady construction work in recent months had kept Adrian Sianez too busy to get into trouble, his family said. After exhausting days, he'd spend nights at home watching movies. His sister hoped the trend would continue.

"We hoped that one day he’d realize that that’s not the life to live," she said.

Adrian Sianez's daughter, Isabelle, turned 4 last month.