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Article updated: 5/2/2013 4:07 PM

Wheeling shooting victim was "a good man," family says

By Matt Arado

Friends and relatives of 23-year-old Rafael Orozco said on Thursday that he was a good man and husband who was not the type to start trouble.

Orozco was found shot to death Wednesday on the 400 block of Pleasant Run Drive, outside one of the buildings in the Winetree Apartments complex in Wheeling. Orozco had lived at Winetree for eight years, his brother-in-law said.

"He was like a brother to me," Carlos Villagomez said through a translator outside the second-floor unit where Orozco lived with his parents and wife of four years. "I want the police to solve this."

With tears in his eyes, Villagomez said Orozco was shot while taking his dog for a walk. He said Orozco worked at a bakery, but couldn't provide any specifics. Other family members were too grief-stricken to talk, Villagomez said, but they wanted the public to understand that Orozco was "a good man."

A neighbor who lives on the floor above Orozco's apartment agreed with that characterization. Edgar Lara said Orozco was not affiliated with a gang and did not cause any disturbances around the complex.

Investigators from the Wheeling Police Department and the North Regional Major Crimes Task Force were on the scene all day Thursday. No suspects were in custody as of Thursday afternoon, police said.

Officers responded about 9 p.m. Wednesday to reports of a person shot in the Winetree complex and found Orozco with a gunshot wound to his chest, police said. Paramedics arrived and transported the victim to Glenbrook Hospital in Glenview, where he was pronounced dead at 9:50 p.m., police said.

Neighbors in the Winetree Apartments said Thursday many people were out Wednesday night because of the warm weather, but none could recall hearing a fight or disturbance before the shooting.

Josip Milasincic, who owns two buildings in the complex, said it's generally a quiet area and many families with children live in the apartments. About four or five years ago there were problems with teenagers breaking car windows, but Milasincic said he installed additional lighting on the advice of police and the issue went away.

"This is bad because it makes people afraid to live here," he said. "We always want to have really good tenants."

Anyone with information is asked to call police at (847) 459-2632.

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