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Purported gang member charged, held without bond for August killing in Back of the Yards

Updated: April 23, 2013 3:45PM

A purported gang-banger spared the life of a man whose mother begged him not to shoot as he pointed a gun at the victim’s head on a summer afternoon last year.

But Martin Ruiz wasn’t feeling so generous a few minutes later when he gunned down a teenage boy a day before his 16th birthday, according to Cook County prosecutors.

Ruiz, 24, fled to Los Angeles following the Aug. 21 Back of the Yards killing of Jaime Ruvalcaba, authorities said.

Ruiz was extradited back to Chicago earlier this month.

Ruiz shot Ruvalcaba several times last year as the boy stood on the sidewalk in the 4600 block of South Wolcott, assistant state’s attorney Jacqueline Kwilos said.

Ruiz was caught on surveillance cameras exiting a Chrysler with a gun and was identified by an officer from the gang investigation unit and several witnesses who took down his license plate number, Kwilos said.

One man, who was with his 5-year-old daughter, allegedly saw Ruvalcaba collapse to the pavement and then glimpsed Ruiz holding the weapon.

Ruiz fled in the Chrysler, Kwilos said.

It was the same vehicle Ruiz jumped into after threatening another man before the deadly shooting, Kwilos said.

In that incident, Ruiz pointed a gun to the man’s head as the man sat with his mother in a car, Kwilos said.

The mother pleaded for her son’s life and Ruiz allegedly assured the man it was his “lucky” day before driving away.

The Chrysler, which was discovered hours after Ruvalcaba’s murder, had Ruiz’s fingerprints, Kwilos said.

Cell phone records also allegedly place Ruiz in the neighborhood where Ruvalcaba was shot. The motive for the slaying wasn’t clear.

Ruvalcaba participated in the The Gate Newspaper’s youth journalism program in 2011, according to the Back of the Yards’ community newspaper’s website.

“Jaime was a bright and sweet kid who made everyone laugh,” officials wrote on the website following the shooting.

“He brought great joy to our program.”

Judge Israel Desierto ordered Martin held without bond Tuesday for Ruvalcaba’s murder.

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