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'Aaren O'Connor's Killers' Scrawled on Pilsen House

By  Stephanie Lulay and Alex Nitkin | February 15, 2016 3:50pm | Updated on February 15, 2016 5:02pm

 Graffiti proclaiming
Graffiti proclaiming "Aaren O'Connor's Killers" popped up on the side of a Pilsen house last week.
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Dnainfo/Alex Nitkin

PILSEN — After a 25-year-old Pilsen woman was fatally shot earlier this month, a Pilsen house was tagged with graffiti saying, "Aaren O'Connor's Killers."

The words were scrawled in blue spray paint on the home accompanied by an arrow pointing up. DNAinfo Chicago is not naming the exact location of the tagged Pilsen house because individuals living in the home have not been charged with a crime. 

About 6:40 p.m. Feb. 5, O'Connor, 25, was seated inside of her 2009 gray Honda Civic at 2046 W. 21st St. talking to her sister and dad on the phone when she was fatally struck by gunfire. Details about the shooter are unknown, but police did recover one firearm from the scene. 

 Aaren O;Connor was found unresponsive in her car after being shot in the head in Pilsen Friday night.
Aaren O;Connor was found unresponsive in her car after being shot in the head in Pilsen Friday night.
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Chicago Police Department

Chicago Police believe O'Connor was not the intended target of the shooting. No arrests have been made to date and the investigation in ongoing. 

Police Detectives are aware of the graffiti — a photo of which was first posted to Reddit Sunday — and are taking all information into consideration, said Frank Giancamilli, Chicago Police Department spokesman. Police would not say whether individuals living in the house are suspects in the case. 

"This investigation and the successful closure of this case relies on evidence and credible information from witnesses," Giancamilli said Monday. "If anyone has any additional information that they have not already provided, we urge them to contact the Chicago Police Department or Crime Stoppers so that we can hold those responsible for this tragic incident accountable."

A young man living in the tagged Pilsen house said Monday that he doesn't know anything about the shooting. The man declined to give his name or age. 

"This showed up three or four days ago," he said of the graffiti. "I don't know who did it, or why."

When asked about the shooting, he told DNAinfo Chicago: "I don't know what happened. I heard gunshots, came out to smoke a cig, and there were cops and tape everywhere. I pretty much mind my own business, I'm not a shutterbug."

Carlos Sorto, O'Connor's longtime boyfriend, said that he "really doesn't know" if the graffiti is credible. There are lots of rumors, but he doesn't know who tagged the house, either. 

"I don't know who did that, but maybe they do know something that I don't know," he said. 

Sorto said he thinks that Pilsen neighbors do known more, but are too scared to come forward. When he was canvassing Saturday with her friends and family, neighbors would say "'I'm sorry, I can't help you.'"

"I do feel there are a lot of people in the community that do know what happened. But they're scared," he said. 

Sorto plans to again canvass the neighborhood near where O'Connor was shot again Tuesday. 

"I want that immediate block to get to know me," he said. "If anything, I just want people to stop hiding and start talking to each other." 

A neighbor living near the house said that they rarely have problems on the "quiet block." 

The graffiti "showed up on Saturday, the day everyone was out here to mourn. It just made me sad."

He said that the recent shooting shows that anyone can be a victim of Chicago's violence. Friends of O'Connor said she's an innocent victim of Chicago's increasing gun violence.

"But you can't be scared — I still walk around the block twice a day to walk my dog," he said. "You've gotta remember, things happen in Gold Coast too, things happen in Wrigleyville. There are a couple little spots around here, but in the past 10 years or so it's gotten a lot safer."

Police continue to seek other video footage or information to help them identify the shooter. Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at 312-747-8380 and is asked to reference case number HZ-141818. A $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest is now being offered, according to Chicago Police. 

Anonymous tips can be made by calling the Crime Stoppers hotline at 800-535-7867. 

Co-workers have started a GoFundMe to help support O'Connor's family. Any leftover funds will be put toward a memorial in her honor, Wilkov said. Friends and family have raised over $36,000 as of Monday afternoon. 

A sign reading: "Saw something? Say something. Speak up!" is posted near the site where 25-year-old Aaren O'Connor was fatally shot in Pilsen. [dnainfo/Alex Nitkin]

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