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Murder Suspects Followed Victim From Convenience Store, Prosecutors Say

By  Erica Demarest Alex Nitkin and Kelly Bauer | March 10, 2017 1:59pm | Updated on March 13, 2017 8:57am

 Jose Martinez (left) and Santo Lozoya (right) are charged with first-degree murder.
Jose Martinez (left) and Santo Lozoya (right) are charged with first-degree murder.
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DNAinfo; Chicago Police Department

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — Two men have been charged with murdering 28-year-old Crispin Coliz after he attended a Chicago Bulls game Dec. 16.

Santo Lozoya, 19, and Jose Martinez, 23, were each ordered held on $2 million bail Friday on charges of first-degree murder.

According to prosecutors, Coliz and seven witnesses went to a Dunning convenience store near Grace Street and Harlem Avenue in two separate cars about 10 p.m. Dec. 16 after watching a Bulls game at the United Center, 1901 W Madison St.

As Coliz walked into the store with two of his cousins, prosecutors said, he encountered Lozoya and Martinez, who motioned toward his waistband as if he had a gun. Lozoya pulled out a gun, prosecutors said.

Since Coliz left his wallet in the car, he quickly ran outside to retrieve it and returned to the store, Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Carlson said during a bond hearing Friday.

That's when Martinez and Lozoya reportedly asked Coliz and his cousins if they were gang-affiliated. According to prosecutors, the trio ignored Martinez and Lozoya, and completed their purchase.

By the time Coliz and his cousins left the store, prosecutors said, Martinez, Lozoya and their Jeep were gone.

Coliz and his his group soon left the parking lot and headed down Grace Street in two separate cars. Before long, Carlson said, a Jeep pulled up behind Coliz's car in the 7200 block of West Grace Street.

Coliz and several witnesses recognized the Jeep and its inhabitants from the convenience store. Martinez sat in a front passenger seat, prosecutors said, while Lozoya was at the wheel.

Someone pointed a gun out of the Jeep and fired four or five shoots toward Coliz's car — fatally striking Coliz in the temple, Carlson said. Coliz's car crashed and multiple neighbors called 911.

According to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office, Coliz, who lived in Cherry Valley outside Rockford, was pronounced dead later that night at Luthern General Hospital.

Martinez, of the 4400 block of West Altgeld Street; and Lozoya, of the 900 block of North Homan Aveune, were arrested this week and charged with first-degree murder.

The arrests were announced on Facebook by Ald. Nicholas Sposato, who wrote "Thank you CPD for all your hard work."