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Men in cop shoot-out suspected in more than a dozen murders

Two men caught and one killed by police fleeing the scene of a double-homicide are suspected in more than a dozen murders involving fake drug deals that turned into robberies, police sources said.

Police killed Arturo Ibarra, 37, of 4521 S. Troy, Saturday night after two people were found killed and a third seriously injured in an Edgewater apartment in the 5800 block of N. Winthrop. Ibarra and two suspects fled the scene and, in a shootout, an officer was shot in the leg and Ibarra was killed, police said.

The suspect, Ibarra and the two men had been under surveillance for months, suspected of being part of a crew that had set up fake cocaine deals of $100,000 or more, according to a source. When the buyer or buyers showed up, they would be robbed and killed, sources said.

The three, who worked for a home remodeling business, are suspected in at least 13 murders, including a quadruple slaying Sept. 2 in the 6100 block of South Kildare, said sources. Noel Casares, Alonso Villarreal, Roberto Rivera and Luis Santillian were found bound and shot in the head in a garage there. One source said they are suspected in the deaths of three men found inside a car last spring in the 2300 block of W. 36th Street.

Nick Roti, chief of the organized crime division, confirmed the three were being investigated in the quadruple homicide. “We suspect them in some other homicides in different parts of the city,” Roti said. “I wouldn’t describe them as active gang members. . . . They are kind of a crew in and of themselves. They’re not under the leadership of anyone.”

The surveillance was part of a joint investigation that involved the detective division, the organized crime division’s gang investigation section and the FBI, he said.

On Saturday night, a man who had his throat slashed freed himself and alerted a neighbor in the Winthrop apartment building, who called police. They found two people dead, with their throats slashed, police said.

Outside the building, police saw men running from the scene and driving a pickup north on Broadway. The pickup rammed a Chicago police car. During the chase, they exchanged gunfire, wounding a 39-year-old police officer in the leg. “The officer is going to be fine,” Police Supt. Jody Weis said.

Ibarra, who died of multiple gunshot wounds to the head, according to the Medical Examiner’s office. The two stabbing victims were dead on the scene, and their names had not been released. The survivor, who was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, is expected to recover, according to sources.

On Sunday, detectives were investigating the two men picked up Saturday night. They had not been charged as of Sunday night.

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