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Wheeling man shot to death

Police are investigating the murder of Rafael Orozco, 23, who was found shot to death last night about a block from his Wheeling home.

It’s the first murder in Wheeling since 2010.

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Police are investigating the murder of Rafael Orozco, who was found shot to death last night about a block from his Wheeling home.  It’s the first murder in Wheeling since 2010.

23-year-old Orozco lived with his wife and parents in an apartment just about one hundred yards from where he was shot to death last night.

Around 9 p.m., police were called to the Wine Tree Apartment complex in Wheeling after reports of gunfire.  When they arrived, they found the young man shot in the chest.

Danielle Pettibone, one of Orozco’s friends, said he was out walking his dog last night and was talking with friends when he was hit.  She says she doesn’t believe he was the intended target.

“He wasn’t in a gang, he was always with his wife, outside walking his dog, always friendly with everybody.,” she said.

Orozco was rushed to Glenbrook Hospital and pronounced dead a short while later.

Neighbors say the shooting was a result of increased gang activity in the area, but friends of the victim say he was not a gang member.

Investigators combed the scene for evidence all day.  Police say there were dozens of people hanging out in the parking lot last night when the shooting happened.  They roped off a big portion of the apartment building today in order to investigate.  Police say they aren’t sure if the shooting was gang related.

Police are investigating the murder of Rafael Orozco, 23, who was found shot to death last night about a block from his Wheeling home.  It’s the first murder in Wheeling since 2010.

Orozco lived in the 500 block of Pleasant Run Drive in the Wine Tree Apartments.  His family members and friends did not want to talk this morning about what happened last night, but they say he was out to walk the dog.

Wheeling police were called to the apartment complex around 9 p.m., just minutes after Orozco was shot in the chest.  Up to 50 people were out last night enjoying the mild weather.

This morning investigators combed the area for evidence after interviewing at least a dozen witnesses.  Some said the gunman seemed to be shooting indiscriminately into the crowd.

Residents are pointing to increasing gang activity in the area.  But those who knew Rafael Orozco say he was not a gang member.

“He was a good guy.  I don’t why he got shot — I think he was just the wrong person,” said Oroczo’s friend, Omar Rivas.  “They got the wrong person. Everywhere around here is gangs.”

“In the last year we have been out here for various types of crimes — criminal damages, but nothing in the way of a shooting,” said Wheeling Police Deputy Chief John Teevans.  “We do have some gangs that have identified themselves out here.  But at this time we don’t know for sure if this is a gang incident.”

Police are not saying whether any of the witnesses were able to identify the gunman, so it is not known yet whether he was also a resident of the apartment complex or just passing through.

Police are investigating the shooting death of a man at an apartment complex in suburban Wheeling.

Police say 23-year-old Rafael Orozco was shot in the chest last night, in the 400 block of Pleasant Run Drive.

He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Orozco was killed one block from his home.

Evidence technicians and investigators are still on the scene this morning.

No arrests have been made.

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