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Article updated: 3/29/2013 11:28 PM

Elgin police continue to investigate murder

Meeting set with Elgin residents

By Elena Ferrarin

While Elgin police continues to investigate the killing of a 19-year-old man in an apparent gang-related shooting earlier this week, a community meeting will be held Wednesday to address residents' concerns.

Alexis Huerta, was found about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday lying next to an apartment building parking lot after he sustained multiple gunshots.

Members of the Elgin police gang unit have interviewed dozens of people, Elgin Police Lt. Dan O'Shea said Friday.

"Investigators are still working it around the clock," he said. "They are doing their darndest to get leads."

Huerta's friend, Victor Anthony "Vito" Botti, 22, said that the night Huerta was killed, he was on his way to play video games at Botti's brother's house, just a few blocks away from where he was shot.

Botti said he and others at the house heard shots and ran out to see what happened, not knowing Huerta was the victim.

"It's like, crazy. I was the one who told him to come over and play the game at the house," he said. "It's messing all of us now."

Botti said he'd known Huerta since high school. Both went to South Elgin High School but neither graduated, Botti said.

"He was a little, quiet guy. He would laugh when somebody would do something funny," he said. "He was a cool dude. He had a really good personality."

Botti said he is in a gang but Huerta was not a gang member.

"Basically he hung around with us. People mistake people because they hang out with someone," Botti said.

Huerta is survived by his parents, Victor and Silvia Huerta; his sisters, Scarly, Michelle and Carolina; plus many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Visitation for Huerta will be 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Wait Ross Allanson Funeral and Cremation Services, 51 Center St., Elgin. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, and interment will be in Bluff City Cemetery.

The Elgin Gang & Drug Task force, in cooperation with the Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren and Elgin Interrupts, will host a community discussion on violence beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the church at 783 W. Highland Ave.

The task force comprises about 20 local agencies, including the Elgin Police Department, and is aimed at reducing gang and drug activity, said its coordinator, Ricardo Gasca.

"This is a time to connect and help the task force reach out to the community and facilitate addressing neighbors' questions and concerns," Danielle Henson, an Elgin Interrupts volunteer, said in a news release.

Police are asking anyone with any information on Tuesday's shooting to call Elgin police at (847) 289-2646. People also can provide anonymous tips via the crime line at (847) 695-4195, or by texting 847411 and including ELGINPD in the beginning of the text, along with the message.

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