LITTLE VILLAGE — Maricela Gonzalez arrived on a plane from her home in Columbus, Ohio, just in time to speak to her brother one last time before he died.
Javier Gonzalez, 17, was in the 3100 block of South Komensky Avenue, about a block from his home, when he was shot in his head and right shoulder about 8 p.m. Nov. 14.
He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition and died the following day, but not before his sister flew in for his last hours.
Gonzalez, 26, said she arrived about 12:30 a.m. on the morning of Nov. 15 — the doctors had given her brother 15 minutes to an hour to live by 5 a.m. Her mother had called her with the grim news.
"Your brother ... he's leaving, he's going to heaven," Gonzalez's mother told her before she boarded the flight to Chicago.
"I still got to see him but he wasn't conscious, he wasn't moving and he wasn't saying anything," she said from her family's home in Little Village.
Gonzalez was able to spend about a half hour with her brother before he died.
The 17-year-old spent a lot of time at home, "always in and out," she said. "He was in a gang — I can't say he wasn't, 'cause he was."
Her brother was excited to start working again before his death, she said.
Several days after her brother's death, Gonzalez was preparing to return home to Columbus, but not without commenting on the city's violence:
"There's nothing special about" Javier's death, she said. "It's the same thing every day here."