Neighbors shaken after fatal shooting of a 24-year-old father in Chicago

A small memorial with flowers and candles stands at the corner of the 3900 block of North Pittsburgh Avenue on Monday. Zet Rodriguez-Lara was killed there Friday morning.

Zubaer Khan/Sun-Times

The shooting of a 24-year-old father in the Dunning neighborhood has left neighbors fearful for their safety.

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Zet Rodriguez-Lara was walking in the 3900 block of North Pittsburgh Avenue when someone fatally shot him about 7 a.m., Friday, Chicago police said. The police released the two men detained for questioning in connection with the homicide Sunday.

“We can confirm the two persons of interest have been released without charging, and the investigation remains active and ongoing,” a spokesperson told the Sun-Times on Monday.

Surveillance footage circulating purportedly shows someone dressed in black shoot Rodriguez-Lara in front of someone’s front lawn — a block down from Rodriguez-Lara’s home. Rodriguez-Lara falls onto the ground, crying out “Help,” as the shooter runs down the street.

Witnesses also heard Rodriguez-Lara call out “I’m shot, I’m shot,” according to the police report.

One neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said his mother was startled by a “loud bang” and screaming at 7 a.m. Friday. She came outside to see the commotion, he said.

A medic who lives nearby rushed out to help, the neighbor said, and she “administered aid as best as she could.”

Neighbors used to see more police cars in the area, he said. Police officers live on the block, so they expected the Northwest Side neighborhood to be safe, he added.

“This is what made us want to move here,” he said. “For [the shooting] to happen here, and once it hits your home turf, it’s very different.”

He said the release of the two people detained was “scary.” Neighbors fear retaliation from the shooter and want answers from officials about who committed the crime, he said.

“Our biggest concern right now is that these people are still out there. What are the next steps to finding the perpetrators?” he asked.

Another neighbor, who also declined to be identified, said she was surprised that the shooting happened in the daytime.

“People are going to work. Kids are going to school. That’s the most upsetting thing to me,” she said.

An autopsy determined Rodriguez-Lara died of a gunshot wound to his chest, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office, which ruled his death a homicide.

Zet Rodriguez-Lara, who was shot to death in Dunning Friday morning, “was a great father, friend, and and brother,” said the organizers of a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the 24-year-old father and his family.

GoFundMe

Rodriguez-Lara had a 6-month-old daughter. He was a “great father, friend and brother,” according to a GoFundMe page to raise funds for his funeral and wake. By Tuesday night, more than $28,000 had been raised, surpassing its $25,000 goal.

“He was a great man and very hardworking,” said Maggie Berman, who is organizing the fundraiser on GoFundMe. “He took care of my sister more than anyone has.”

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