The murders this week of a father and son shot to death in their Palatine apartment have cast a shadow on an area the village took on more than a decade ago in hopes of reducing crime there.
In the 1990s, the Baldwin Green apartment complex -- where Luis Reynoso, 15, and Segundo Reynoso, his 38-year-old father, were gunned down early Wednesday -- had a notorious reputation.
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Neighbors even resisted the construction of a playground shortly after Palatine annexed the complex, fearing gangs and drug dealers would use the space as a hangout.
Palatine police took over patrols from the Cook County Sheriff's Office when officials brought Baldwin Green into the village in 1999. Boosted by federal funding, the department created a beat for the high-density area.
The village's steps helped usher a turnaround for the complex near Baldwin and Dundee roads, said Carole Engstrom, site manager of nearby Windhaven Condominiums.
"This really caught me off guard," Engstrom said of the slayings. "It just appeared to me that things had really kind of calmed down."
On Thursday, the deaths of the Palatine father and son were ruled homicides by the Cook County medical examiner's office. Luis Reynoso died of multiple gunshot wounds, an autopsy showed. His father was killed by a single gunshot wound to the face, according to the medical examiner.
Officers found them wounded shortly after midnight Wednesday while responding to a report that a man had been shot inside his residence on the 1900 block of Green Lane North. A neighbor made the 911 call, police said.
There were no signs of a struggle, police said. Neighbors reported hearing three to seven gunshots, according to police.
The father and son later died at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.
The younger Reynoso is known to have gang ties, police said, and the shootings took place in an area authorities and neighbors described as gang territory.
"Our gang units spend an inordinate amount of time in that complex compared to other parts of the village," police Cmdr. Dave Daigle said.
Luis Reynoso's mother and two younger sisters live in the apartment, but police are not saying whether they were home at the time of the shootings. The three met with the department's social workers Wednesday morning.
The Edgebrook Community Center sits inside two Baldwin Green apartments on the 1900 block of Green Lane North. The facility, a satellite location of the nonprofit Palatine Opportunity Center, holds after-school tutoring for students, financial counseling and other programs for kids and adults. Representatives did not return calls seeking comment.
The last homicide in Palatine was in August 2012, when a man fatally stabbed a 21-year-old man after a feud over the sale of a pit bull. Authorities did not seek criminal charges against the man who police said acted in self-defense.
In February 2011, a 49-year-old man fatally shot his daughter's boyfriend and then turned the gun on himself in a murder-suicide.
Anyone with information about Wednesday's shootings is asked to call Palatine police at (847) 359-9000 or the Palatine-Inverness Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (847) 590-7867.