Police think 6 Chicago deaths result of 'targeted incident'

AP News
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Posted: Feb 06, 2016 7:15 PM
Police think 6 Chicago deaths result of 'targeted incident'

CHICAGO (AP) — Authorities on Saturday released the names of six family members found dead this week in their southwest side home — the victims of what Chicago police believe was a "targeted incident."

Investigators are still trying to determine a possible motive. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said late Friday that it's possible someone in the family "was involved in something that could have targeted them," or that the killings occurred during a robbery or a domestic incident.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office released the names of the victims — two boys, two women and two men. The boys were identified Saturday as Leonardo Cruz, 13, and Alexis Cruz, 10, and the women as Rosaura Martinez, 58, and Maria Herminia Martinez, 32. The men were identified as Noe Martinez Sr., 62, and Noe Martinez Jr., 32.

Their deaths were ruled homicides Friday by the medical examiner's office. Five were stabbed to death and the sixth died of multiple gunshot wounds, the office said.

Police found them all dead on Thursday after one of the men's co-workers called 911 to report he hadn't shown up to work for two days. Authorities initially said it was possible one person killed the other five before taking his or her own life.

Police have added extra patrols as a precaution, though Guglielmi on Friday repeated earlier police statements that they don't believe the general public is in danger. There was no forced entry into the home and the house wasn't ransacked.

"This appears certainly centered and targeted on that family, and what we're trying to do is figure out why," he said.

Officers are exploring the backgrounds of the six victims, including talking to other family members and friends, Guglielmi said.

Next-door neighbor Mayra Diego said Friday that the family members were quiet and peaceful people.

"That's what we're most sorry about," Diego said. "Because we could have done something, or being so close I feel like maybe we would have noticed something."

A relative said six people lived in the home — a couple, their son, their daughter and the daughter's two children.

"They were a normal family. Everything was fine," the relative, Noemi Martinez, 29, said from Dallas during a phone interview in Spanish. She said her husband was a nephew and cousin of the home's residents.

Martinez said the father worked at a factory in Chicago and the mother was a housewife. They were originally from the Mexican state of Guanajuato and had lived in Chicago for about a decade, Martinez said.

"Right now, we just want to know who did this. They didn't deserve this. We don't understand what happened," she said.

In the neighborhood, three teenage boys said they were worried about a classmate at Rachel Carson Elementary School who lived in the home. They feared he was among the dead.

"His favorite sport was soccer," Aaron Villazana said of his friend. Emmanuel Hernandez chimed in: "He'd get out of school and play soccer. ... He liked sharing."

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Associated Press writer Ivan Moreno contributed to this report from Springfield, Illinois.