CHICAGO (CBS) — Friends, family, and people who never knew him gathered in Oak Park on Tuesday to honor a former Marine who was killed when he was thrown from his own car while trying to stop a carjacking.
Christopher Florez and his girlfriend were outside the Jewel on Roosevelt Road on Sunday night, renting a movie, when two men jumped in his Dodge Challenger.
Florez tried to stop them and grabbed onto the steering wheel, holding on for a couple blocks as the thieves sped off, but he was thrown off the car when they turned onto Harlem Avenue.
“A lot of people can say a lot of things, and say like, ‘He should’ve left that car alone. You know, he shouldn’t have tried to stop that guy,'” said his older brother, Mike. “The one trait that he has that I think I wish I had, to be honest, is he was fearless, you know?”
Mike is 14 years older than Chris.
“These streets have always been bad, man, even when I was young; and that’s what made me go into the Marine Corps and get off these streets,” he said. “He always looked up to me, you know? He always wanted to be in my shoes, and he did it. He also went into the Marines.”
At a memorial for Chris on the corner where he was killed, Leonardo Lucio and his 7-year-old son Angel knelt and lit a candle.
“I wanted to show my son life and death,” Lucio said.
Marisa Munoz brought her two young sons to the vigil.
“This has got to stop. We have to put a stop to this. We have little children. People are killing for no reason. When is it going to stop? When is it going to stop?” she said.