Cop killers sentenced to over 100 years in prison
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Criminal Courts Reporter March 19, 2014 3:16PM
Cassidy Alexander's painting of fallen Chicago Police Officer Alejandro "Alex" Valadez, who was shot and killed on June 1, 2009. | Photo courtesy of Cassidy Alexander
Updated: April 21, 2014 6:55PM
The gunman in the fatal drive-by shooting of Chicago Police Officer Alejandro “Alex” Valadez was sentenced to 105 years in prison Wednesday while his co-defendant received a 120-year prison sentence.
Christopher Harris, the shooter, and Kevin Walker, who was behind the wheel when the bullets fired, were convicted in October of the June 1, 2009, killing in a vacant Englewood lot.
Before Harris’ sentencing, Valadez’s police officer sister, Brenda Valadez, talked in court about how she and two of her siblings became cops because they wanted to make a difference.
Years ago, another one of the Valadez brothers was killed by a gang member. Alejandro Valadez would be the second of the siblings to be shot to death, Brenda Valadez said.
“He was always the life of the party,” Brenda Valadez said of her baby brother.
Harris, 25, did not make a statement.
Walker, also 25, who goes by the nickname “Killer Kev,” offered his condolences to the Valadez family and said, “I’m sorry.”
Cook County Judge Jorge Alonso said the men ultimately didn’t care who they shot.
Reputed gang member Shawn Gaston, 25, a friend of Harris and Walker, is currently serving a 125-year prison sentence for his role in the deadly shooting.
Harris fired the shots that killed Valadez in the 6000 block of South Hermitage Avenue, according to Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and her assistant Jeffrey Allen.
Harris admitted to detectives that he stuck his arm out of Gaston’s mother’s Pontiac G6 and shot a .357 revolver several times the morning of the crime.
“I shot the .357 but I didn’t mean to aim at anybody,” Harris said in his videotaped confession prosecutors presented in their closing arguments. “I shot four or five at the most.”
Harris, Walker and Gaston were retaliating for an earlier shooting when bullets showered over Valadez, 27. Instead of gunning down their enemies, they struck the plainclothed officer, who happened to be canvassing the area with other officers investigating the shots that had been fired at the trio.
Valadez’s killers also were convicted in the attempted murder of Kelvin Thomas — the resident Valadez was interviewing when he was shot.
In 2010, the state’s attorney’s office drafted and helped pass the “Valadez Law,” which mandates a prison sentence for unlawful possession of a firearm by a gang member.