HUMBOLDT PARK — A man suspected of executing a Chicago father after a minor car accident during Puerto Rican Parade celebrations in Humboldt Park was arrested in San Diego and charged with murder in the crime that was caught on video and stunned the city.
Anthony Lorenzi, 34, was arrested at 7:10 p.m. Friday by the U.S. Marshals in a parking lot of an apartment complex in San Diego, where he had fled the day after shooting Gyovanny Arzuaga, 24, twice in his head, officials said Saturday.
Arzuaga was on the ground at the time of his murder, kneeling over his partner, Yasmin Perez, 25. Both had been dragged out of their car and beaten by a mob of people after a minor car accident June 19 in the 3200 block of West Division Street, police said.
Lorenzi shot Arzuaga “execution style,” a murder witnessed by multiple people in the crowded area and caught on at least one video camera. That footage quickly circulated on social media.
Perez was also shot dead that night, but police on Saturday revealed they believe she was shot in the car accidentally, likely by Arzuaga, the father of her two young children.
Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said forensic evidence is still being analyzed but signs point to the 40-caliber bullet that struck her in her neck being fired from inside her car by Arzuaga. A gun was found under him after he died, Deenihan said. Tests are still being done to try to match the fatal bullet to that gun, he said.
“It’s more than likely that he discharged that firearm accidentally, causing that gunshot wound,” Deenihan said a Saturday press conference to announce the arrest and charges.
The accidental shot was fired while Arzuaga and Perez were being attacked inside their car, police said.
Two other people were in the backseat of the car at the time of the attack, but neither is believed to be responsible for firing the shot that killed Perez, Deenihan said.
Deenihan said detectives quickly began building a case against Lorenzi after getting tips from the public.
“The community really stepped up and gave us several tips on who this defendant was, and that’s how we were able to identify hm so quickly,” he said.
An arrest warrant was issued and authorities tracked Lorenzi to San Diego, where federal agents put him under surveillance, officials said.
Lorenzi was arrested without incident Friday. No gun was found, police said.
He was being held Saturday pending an extradition hearing where authorities will ask he be brought back to Chicago to face first-degree murder charges. Police Supt. David Brown said Lorenzi has 26 adult arrests and seven convictions, including one for unlawful use of a weapon in 2010.
“I hope this arrest brings at least some measure of relief to the family of this young couple who leaves behind two small children,” Brown said.
The top cop late last month said they had a “strong case” against the gunman and were just working to “close the loop” before an arrest. Mayor Lori Lightfoot had vowed to find those responsible for the “horrific” shooting.
The shooting happened around 9:15 p.m. June 19, just hours after the Puerto Rican Parade. Arzuaga, Perez and two friends were out celebrating the parade festivities in the 3200 block of West Division Street — their car decorated with a Puerto Rican flag — when they were ambushed, police said.
The gruesome video from the shooting shows the attackers dragging Perez out of the car. In the video, Perez bleeds on the ground as Arzuaga kneels over her. With people standing nearby, a man in a white tank top fires shots at Arzuaga; the shooter and the rest of the group run off while Arzuaga lays on Perez’s body and then rolls over, bleeding.
Arzuaga, who was shot in his head, was pronounced dead at St. Mary’s Hospital. Perez was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition. She died from her injuries two days later, on June 22.
The shooting has gained national attention as Chicago continues to see a spike in gun violence this summer, including multiple mass shootings.
Arzuaga and Perez, of Hanover Park, were parents to two young children and were in a relationship. Their deaths have sparked an outpouring of support; two separate GoFundMe fundraisers for their families had raised more than $135,000.
“We are all heartbroken and devastated beyond belief as they leave behind two beautiful children, Sofiya and Jayden,” family members wrote in one of the fundraisers.
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