WAUKEGAN (CBS) — A man on his way to work with his nephew was shot and killed when he was attacked by a group of carjackers early Thursday morning in Waukegan. His nephew escaped unharmed.
As CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports, Waukegan police had three people in custody for the attack late Thursday afternoon. Waukegan Police Chief Dan Greathouse said it was a simple crime of opportunity, committed by three “thugs” walking down the street, who spontaneously decided to commit a carjacking.
Carlos Hernandez, 44, was attacked on the street in the 400 block of Hickory Street shortly after 6 a.m., police said.
His nephew, Juan Carlos Uriosteguis, was practicing his morning routine, picking up Hernandez at his Waukegan home before driving to Chicago, where both worked as painters.
But, when Uriosteguis stepped inside Hernandez’s home to use the toilet, Hernandez stepped outside to get in the car.
“Next thing I know, I’m just hearing my aunt saying, ‘Juan Carlos, Juan Carlos, they’re taking your uncle! They took the car.’ I immediately run outside, but the car was no longer here,” he said.
Greathouse said Hernandez was forced inside a car left running in his driveway.
The carjackers sped away and Hernandez’s body was found on the street a couple blocks away, near the corner of Julian Street and King Avenue. The stolen car was found a few blocks further away.
Police delivered the tragic news to Hernandez’s family.
“The cops told me they shot him twice, which to me was completely unnecessary. They shouldn’t have done that. They shouldn’t have,” Uriosteguis said. “My uncle didn’t do anything. I was just picking him up to go to work, a normal day, but look what happened.”
Police focused their search for suspects on Lakeside Towers, a low-income high rise building just north of downtown Waukegan. Officers went door-to-door and reportedly found one suspect hiding in a ventilation shaft.
Several people were taken away in police vehicles. Then, late Thursday afternoon, a police SWAT team entered the building and the suspect found wedged in a ventilation duct was taken away in an ambulance.
Hernandez and his family moved to Waukegan from Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood about five years ago, hoping to escape city violence. Now, they’re wondering why.
“You run away from Chicago and, look. Look what happened, we go into somewhere worse,” Uriostequis said.
Police said they believe at least two of the suspects in custody lived at Lakeside Towers. Those two were described only as a 22-year-old man and a 27-year-old man; police said both have criminal backgrounds.