A double shooting caught on video Saturday night that left one person dead near the site of the Puerto Rican Day parade began with a “very minor” traffic crash before escalating into violence, a top Chicago police official said Monday.
Gyovanny Arzuaga, 24, who was killed in the shooting in the Humboldt Park community, and a 25-year-old woman who was badly wounded were among 14 people shot within blocks of the route of the parade over the weekend. Of those 14, three others also were killed.
Viral video of the shooting that circulated online showed the woman being dragged by several people out of a dark SUV with a Puerto Rican flag sticking out of a window. Arzuaga who was seen on the ground nearly covering her was then shot by a gunman in a white tank top, the video showed.
During a news conference Monday at Chicago Police Department headquarters, Brendan Deenihan, chief of detectives, described the video and said the killing stemmed from a “very minor” traffic crash. After that incident, Deenihan said, a group of people approached the vehicle.
“They are seen hitting and beating the woman, who was the driver of the vehicle and then eventually dragging her out,” Deenihan said. “What the video doesn’t show is there was a shot discharged at some point. You can’t see it in the video. And that appears when the female gets struck (by gunfire).”
That was when Arzuaga tried to get on top of her, “and then you see (a) suspect clearly just holding the gun, shooting him in the head almost execution-style,” Deenihan said, describing the graphic images.
He said police are trying to find all the suspects captured on the video.
At a separate news conference Monday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city has “promising leads” and hopes the individual is arrested soon.
“But as you saw from that horrific video, it wasn’t just one person. There’s one person who dealt the fatal shot but there were others who were standing by, who dragged that poor woman out of the car, the man who was killed literally used his body as a shield and he paid for that with his life,” Lightfoot said.
“The fact that happened in our city and so many individuals stood around and seemingly were trying to take advantage of this moment that I believe started with a car accident is a horrific statement, it’s a horrific statement about those men who were involved in that,” Lightfoot said.
Arzuaga was among seven people fatally shot in Chicago from 6 p.m. Friday to late Sunday night. Those killed were among more than 50 shooting victims during that period of Father’s Day weekend. Not included in the tally was a woman who was fatally stabbed in the downtown area not far from Willis Tower over the weekend.