A man upset over a breakup with his girlfriend decided to vent his rage by randomly shooting two innocent people in the back of the head before police arrested him in the middle of a separate robbery, Chicago Police said Saturday.
The connection between the two murders and the armed robbery Aug. 2 in Humboldt Park was revealed Saturday when Ricardo Marchan, 24, of the 4000 block of West Grand, was charged with two counts of murder. He previously was charged with armed robbery.
Police said Marchan's deadly rampage began at 4:10 a.m. Aug. 2, when he allegedly shot Michael Hernandez in the 1500 block of North Western Avenue.
Hernandez, 18, who was planning to attend college this fall, was shot in the back of the head. He was driving to his mother's home after a night with friends.
Police said Marchan then drove about four blocks west and, three minutes later, fatally shot Patrick Cregan, 35, in the 1400 block of North California Avenue. Cregan, who was delivering a pizza, also was shot in the back of the head in his car, police said.
Marchan, who was armed with a 9mm Hi-Point rifle, continued his crime spree by driving west to the 3800 block of West Dickens, where he attempted to rob two men on the street at 4:38 a.m., police said.
Marchan allegedly fired several shots in the air after one of the men said he didn't believe the weapon was real.
One of the men gave Marchan his wallet, but the second man cursed at him and threw his wallet on the ground for Marchan to pick up, police said.
Marchan allegedly put his gun in the back seat of his Chevy Tahoe and was preparing to pick up the wallet when police arrived on the scene and arrested him.
Detectives said they think the rampage was linked to Marchan's girlfriend breaking up with him on July 29.
Testing by the Illinois State Police crime lab linked the bullets fired in the killings to the weapon found in Marchan's vehicle, as well as the weapon fired during the robbery, Chicago Police said.
Twenty shell casings and dozens of unused bullets were found in the car, according to Grand Central District detectives.
The week he was killed, Hernandez was planning to go to Wilbur Wright College to select his classes, said his mother, Lisa Burgos.
Hernandez, who lived in the West Town neighborhood, planned to follow in the footsteps of a cousin and become a Chicago Police officer, she said.
Burgos is pregnant. She said Hernandez had told her he looked forward to taking the baby on trips to the zoo and teaching the baby how to read.
"This man took my son for no reason," she said. "My son didn't get to experience life."
Patrick Cregan Sr. said he had worked on the same pizza delivery route as his son, who had taken it over.
"He was just trying to make money to help his family," said Cregan, whose son had married about a year ago and has an 8-year-old son from a previous marriage.
The younger Cregan, who lived in Arlington Heights and worked for Village Pizza at Chicago and Western, was a big White Sox fan, his father said. He was buried in a White Sox jersey and hat and his coffin was silver and black.
"He was at the wrong place at the wrong time," Cregan said.