One-year old girl, immigrant Uber driver shot dead in Chicago weekend carnage

 February 21, 2023

Chicago suffered another weekend of carnage, with sixteen shot and eight killed just days before the city's mayoral election. 

Among the victims was an infant who was gunned down Sunday night.

One-year-old Amara Hall died in the shooting on I-57 in Chicago's South Side, along with 19-year-old Nasir Hall and 13-year-old William Smith.

Another deadly Chicago weekend

The first homicide victim of the weekend was 45-year-old Gary Winston, who was found lying on the sidewalk in the 1200 block of West 73rd Place on Saturday morning with multiple gunshot wounds. He later died at the hospital.

35-year-old Nathaniel Cargle was fatally shot in the 7900 block of South Marquette Road Sunday afternoon, about an hour before another man, 18-year-old Marcel Edwards, was shot and killed on the sidewalk in the 7800 block of South Phillips Avenue.

26-year-old Yasmine Moreno was fatally shot in the head around midnight Sunday at a home in the 5500 block of West Diversey Avenue. Police say the incident may have been tied to a domestic dispute.

Uber driver killed

The bloodshed continued Monday when an Uber driver in the city's Little Italy neighborhood was murdered on the job. A passenger was injured.

31-year-old Milton Pillacela Ayora, an immigrant from Ecuador, was at a stoplight when four men pulled up alongside him in a silver SUV and started shooting. Ayora received multiple gunshot wounds and later died at the hospital.

Ayora was driving Uber to save up for a home, his stepmother, Rosanita Leon, said.

“He was a loving and wonderful person that was very hardworking,” Leon said. “He was not the kind of person to get involved with the wrong people.”

Lightfoot faces tough election

There were over 800 murders in 2021, Chicago's deadliest year in decades, and homicides still hovered around 700 in 2022.

Concern over crime has put mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) in a vulnerable position as she seeks re-election in a crowded race on February 28.

Lightfoot has blamed the crime surge on a lack of gun control in neighboring Republican states, but finger-pointing hasn't helped her dismal approval ratings.

The embattled mayor accused frontrunner Paul Vallas, the only white candidate, of "dog whistling" after he called to "take our city back."

“Take our city back, meaning what? To what time? And take our city back from whom?” Lightfoot asked.

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