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Who were the victims of Chicago bar mass shooting? 3 killed, 1 injured in gunfire at birthday party

The gunfire erupted after an argument inside the bar at the birthday party inside the lounge turned into a fight that spilled outside to the street
UPDATED DEC 12, 2022
3 dead and 1 critically injured in mass shooting at Vera Lounge in Chicago on December 11 (WGN News/YouTube screengrab, @veraloungechicago/Instagram)
3 dead and 1 critically injured in mass shooting at Vera Lounge in Chicago on December 11 (WGN News/YouTube screengrab, @veraloungechicago/Instagram)

This article contains a recollection of crime and can be triggering to some, readers' discretion advised

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: Three people were shot dead and another is in critical condition after a mass shooting at a birthday party in Chicago's Northwest Side early Sunday morning. The suspect remains at large. According to authorities, the mass shooting occurred following a verbal altercation at a birthday party at the bar Vera Lounge, on the Northwest Side of Chicago, Illinois at approximately 2.26 am on December 11. 

Family and friends of 25-year-old Maria Vera gathered for her birthday celebration inside the lounge when an argument inside the bar turned into a fight that spilled outside to the street. The unidentified suspect opened rounds of fire, hitting at least four people before fleeing in a dark-colored SUV. The victims have since been identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. 


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Ricky Vera, 50, whose brother owns the bar, was struck in the head and chest. He was pronounced dead on the scene, reported CBS. His daughter, Maria Vera, 25, was rushed to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the head and was listed in critical condition. Two of Maria's friends, Mario Pozuelos, 26, of Franklin Park, and Mercedes Tavares, 24, of Chicago Heights were shot multiple times and were taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital. Shortly, both of the were pronounced dead.

The suspect sped the scene on wheels at once. Police didn't recover a gun at the scene, but investigators found several bullet casings, WFLD-TV reported. Oscar Ortiz, a friend of one of the victims, Ricky Vera, said they were celebrating Maria's birthday Saturday night when the fight broke out. "This man was arguing with his daughter, and he came out and says, 'Hey, that's my daughter,' and he just turned to him, and he walked to the car, came back, and shot him point blank," Ortiz said.

Loved ones described Maria as loving and generous, and Ricky as an excellent family man. "Excellent husband, excellent grandfather, excellent father, excellent brother; he opened his doors to everybody," Ortiz told CBS. Police are probing the case until then Ortiz is asking this community to live more like his friend, Ricky. "Just be nice to people. Be happy to people. Joke with people. Smile with people. Trust people," he said. It's not clear what started the fight that led to the tragic shooting.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact