CHICAGO — A 29-year-old father of two was shot and killed in Roscoe Village early Sunday morning, and while police are still trying to figure out what led to the violence, the victim’s family says he was unfairly targeted.
Chicago police responded to reports of a shooting on the 2300 block of west School Street around 3:20 a.m. Sunday. After arriving on the scene, officers found a 29-year-old victim with gunshot wounds to the chest and arm.
Mario Dingillo was taken to Illinois Masonic Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Officials say a 30-year-old security guard from a bar near where Dingillo was found has been taken into custody after he told police he fired the fatal shots.
But there are conflicting stories about what led to the shooting.
Dingillo's brother and mother were at a funeral home in Gurnee later Sunday, making final arrangements after his killing. They describe him as a father of two boys, ages eight and four, who has never been in trouble.
“He was just the biggest, warmest-hearted guy you’d ever want to meet. You know, he always had a helping hand – always," his mother Sandra Dingillo said said. "He was a good kid and today I have to stand in front of a funeral home and go make arrangements for my son because his life is over.”
His brother Vito Dingillo said Mario now lives in Trevor, WI but is from Chicago. According to Vito, Mario was going to finish a night out with his wife at Bluelight, a late-night bar near the corner of Belmont and Western. However, Vito said when they arrived there was a fight going on outside, and a security guard breaking it up mistakenly maced Mario.
“He didn’t even have anything to do with the original altercation. He walked into a big mess that was happening from the bar. He never even made it to the bar,” Vito Dingillo said.
Family members say he had started heading back to his vehicle when the security guard opened fire on him.
"He shot him in cold blood, he treated my son like a piece of garbage,” mother Sandra Dingillo said.
But one witness told WGN news that it was actually Mario Dingillo who started the fight after he was denied entry into the bar because he didn’t meet the dress code. That witness says Dingillo tried to grab the bouncer’s weapon.
Mario's brother said that explanation doesn’t make sense.
“He’s a security guard at an establishment on Western. How did you end up two blocks down, on School Street, two blocks from the establishment?” he said, returning to the location where Mario was found.
“I want to see him in custody, I want to see him on trial, and I want to see him face what he did,” Vito Dingillo said.
Detectives are still investigating the circumstances of the shooting.