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Monday, June 15, 2009

Shooting in Bedford Park Leaves 15-year-old Dead

Last Friday, June 12, 15-year-old Juan Jerez was fatally shot outside of his apartment complex on Minerva Place, Bedford Park.

Jerez, a freshman in high school, was on his way to play basketball with a group of friends when he took two bullets to the chest, killing him almost instantly, according to friends.

Today, a crowd of his mourning friends gathered around the site of his death, lighting candles, drawing graffiti on the street and placing poems and pictures of the victim on the sidewalk. Around 20 teenagers, ranging from high school freshman to high school seniors, stood in silence to honor and remember their friend.

Although it was difficult for these teens to talk about the tragic incident, all of his friends insisted that the shooting was an accident. They unanimously agreed that Juan did not have any known enemies, but added the area is notoriously dangerous. The Jerez family was not present at this makeshift memorial. Some of Juan’s friends said that the family returned to the Dominican Republic to bury their son.

Many residents near Minerva Place agree that the neighborhood is not safe.

Maria Santiago, who lives next door to the Jerez’s apartment complex, said that she heard three gunshots on Friday night. She also said that the police arrived quickly and there are now more police in the area. Still, she believes that “the police don’t do anything.” There are multiple teenage gangs who are often so violent and aggressive in the street that her younger daughter is afraid to go outside alone in the evening.

Nelson Infante, the owner of a restaurant around the corner from the Jerez’s apartment, has known Jerez’s mother for 10 years. He described Jerez as a “good kid,” but said he did not know any information about the shooting.

As a business owner in Bedford Park for 28 years, Infante says that the neighborhood has gradually become “worse and worse.” There is a profuse amount of fighting, gangs and drugs. He blames teenagers for the violent outbreaks saying they just “don’t want to go to school.” As for Jerez’s shooting, he said, “I am shocked that it happened to Juan, but not shocked that it happened in the area.”


  1. Omq i miss yuh brOoo RIP JUAN I WILL NEVER FORGET YUH...

  2. i miss u juan..ur in mii prayers everydaiie son...luv lissie

  3. juan you gone but never 4gotten always loved and on my mind

  4. I cud honestly say that the school and the block isn't the same without you there . It's been 3months and a few daysz now that u've been qonee nd i styll cant believe iit . i love u nd miss you alOT Juan =( .

    -Yesenia M.

  5. spoe o.n.e mobb
    dang juan u left us homie it dead aint the same with out u was like ma big more dan dat and its neva goin to be the same for me if i could eva see u in heaven i be glad now man u left ur mom crying to death. buh member i love and miss u lil bro spoee

  6. juan one of the realest out their i miss u with all my heart .dnt worry justice will come .i promise . just wish u could still play ball wit me and bugg out .....sleep

  7. we miss yu kid.
    you gone but never forgotten .
    your in our hearts forever .
    RiP Juan JEREZ

  8. OMG Juan i miss you so much .
    aint one day pass tht you not in ma head
    school aint tha same no more
    wish you were here
    you were so cool and fun to be around always had me dying in lunch and we never had some type of argument or anything
    when will i ever find a person whos 10 days younger than me.
    _MiMi x23

  9. eventho i didn't know you i feel the pain of u not being here w. us. The school or your friends are not the same. we miss you dearly. & today is your birthday :( damn we miss you ody. i cant believe you are gone. "/

  10. I could remeber like its just yesterday we throwing paper balls at each other,and now its not the same with out you R.I.P.

  11. miss you like crazy now need you more then ever and you will always be my best friend here and at heaven

  12. R.I.P Manito YOu Will Never Be Forgotten :'(

  13. RIP JUAN TQM . its ganna be 2011 real soon nd i still have not forgotten. TQMUCHOOO MANITO <3

  14. juan i miss you!!!! in 2 more weeks is going to be your b-day!!!! :( juan come back i need you!!

  15. R.I.P juan O.N.E Crew!!!!smh, can't believe your gone bro!!! You always going to be in my heart!!


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