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Prosecutors: Father Shot 6 Times Shielding Toddler in Car Seat…Part of Gang Initiation Ritual

Prosecutors: Father Shot 6 Times Shielding Toddler in Car Seat…Part of Gang Initiation Ritual

CHICAGO -19-year-old Esteban Sotelo (pictured above) is being held without bail, accused of shooting a 29-year-old father 6 times while he was putting his toddler in a car seat. Sotelo faces charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon. The shooting took place Thursday and authorities believe that it was part of a gang initiation ritual for a 14-year-old boy who is also being charged with aggravated battery and discharge of a firearm.  

The victim remains in Mt. Sinai hospital with wounds to his legs, back, neck and reportedly has a round lodged in his nasal cavity below his eye. 

Sotelo aka “Sniper,” is an admitted member of the Latin Kings gang and according to court documents, he and the boy set out Thursday with the goal of shooting a member of the rival Satan’s Disciples gang. Assistant State’s Attorney Heather Kent said that the shooting was part of the boy’s initiation into the gang. 

According to Kent, the victim was leaving his home in Little Village with his wife and 20-month-old daughter. As he tried to put his daughter in the car seat, Sotelo reportedly mistook for a member of Satan’s Disciples. He asked the victim “what’s up?” and then proceeded to shoot him 6 times.  Kent said the victim shielded his daughter from the shots. 

Sotelo was later apprehended by Chicago police and directed officers to a bag of mulch where he had hidden the gun. Multiple witnesses also identified him as the gunman. 

Sotelo has a history of run-ins with the law. He’s on probation for a felony cocaine-related conviction and there are two findings of delinquency as a juvenile for a 2007 robbery and a 2009 aggravated battery.

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