Two teens charged in fatal shooting of 14-year-old
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Criminal Courts Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org April 9, 2013 12:38PM
Damien Garza | Provided
Updated: April 9, 2013 5:37PM
Michael Orozco was on his way to a Southwest Side ice cream shop late Sunday afternoon when, Cook County prosecutors said, a reputed Latin Saint pumped bullets into the 14-year-old in an apparent attempt to avenge his father’s murder.
Michael, like his shooter, Javier Garza, 17, was in a gang, police said.
But both young men’s mothers vehemently denied their sons’ involvement with street crime after Garza, and his co-defendant, 19-year-old Damien Garza, appeared in bond court for Michael’s murder Tuesday.
The Garzas are not related, according to Javier Garza’s mother.
Madeline Garza said it was “disrespectful” for assistant state’s attorney Joell Zahr to conclude that Javier Garza flashed gang signs and then gunned down Michael as payback for his father’s 2001 South Side murder.
“That was 12 years ago,” a perplexed Madeline Garza said, adding that Javier Garza is a “good father and son” who “unfortunately, was hanging out with the wrong people.”
Marisol Martinez said her slain middle child was also far from being a gang-banger and was puzzled why he was targeted as he strolled outside with friends who had planned to grab some yogurt.
“He was dressed like a preppy. He had on Jordan shoes and a Jordan shirt. He had no tattoos, no piercings. Does that sound like a gang-banger?” Martinez said.
Martinez said Michael gave her and her husband a kiss Sunday afternoon, promising he’d be back later for some pizza — one of his favorite meals.
He never made it.
While standing outside in the 2200 block of South Leavitt Michael, an Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy freshman, was allegedly shot three times in the back by Javier Garza’s .45 caliber handgun.
A ricocheted bullet left a girl, 13, victim with a graze wound to her right ankle.
Javier Garza jumped back into the green minivan that fellow Latin Saint Damien Garza drove to the scene, Zahr said.
The Garzas, and another male, were apprehended just minutes later when the speeding minivan crashed in the 1600 block of West Cermak, authorities said.
The third male was released without being charged.
Madeline Garza said it was the uncharged male and Damien Garza, whose face is tattooed with apparent gang signs, who falsely accused Javier Garza as being the gunman.
Zahr said Damien Garza told police that he and Javier Garza were looking for rival Saint Disciples to shoot and that Javier Garcia repeatedly said “DK,” which means “Disciple Killer,” before pulling the trigger.
The weapon was recovered from under the minivan’s driver’s seat, a police report said.
On Tuesday, Judge Donald Panarese Jr. ordered Damien Garza, of the 4500 block South Woods, held in lieu of $1 million.
Javier Garza, of Elmwood Park, was held without bond.
Meanwhile Tuesday, Martinez said her family was preparing for Michael’s funeral.
“My youngest son is sad because he never got to say bye,” a despondent Martinez said.
“He [Michael] was very loved. He’s going to be missed. No one can replace him.”