Chicago teen shoots dead woman, 37, after finding out she was transgender, smiles during court appearance

18-year-old Orlando Perez has been reportedly charged with first-degree murder and was denied bail during his first court appearance


                            Chicago teen shoots dead woman, 37, after finding out she was transgender, smiles during court appearance
Orlando Perez (Cook County Sheriff's Office)

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: An 18-year-old high school student, who has been accused of killing his date by shooting her multiple times after finding out that she was a transgender, smiled as prosecutors detailed the horrific crime in court. Speaking at his bond hearing this past Tuesday, June 16, Cook County prosecutors said Orlando Perez was seen going to the Marquette Park home of the victim, 37-year-old Selena Reyes-Hernandez, with her at around 5:30 am on May 31.

While inside the home, he reportedly asked her if she was a girl, and when she said she was trans, told her he had to leave, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Surveillance cameras captured the teen leaving 20 minutes later, but then returning around 6 am with a dark face covering. Video from the scene allegedly showed Perez taking out a handgun and racking the slide as he approached Reyes-Hernandez's home in the 3300 Block of West 71st Street, just a few blocks away from where he lived. He was also seen hopping over the gate to the 37-year-old's home and then leaving again just a few minutes later.

Prosecutors said that, after finding the Reyes-Hernandez's door open, he walked in and shot her in the head and back before leaving. He wasn't done, however. He allegedly told detectives he was so upset at finding out that the victim was trans, that he went back to her home again to shoot her lifeless body. He is said to have shot her several times as she lay dead, face down on the floor. "He thought that was enough so he ran out. But he kept seeing her face, so he went back there to do it again," said Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy.

A witness who heard loud noises from Reyes-Hernandez's apartment discovered her body later that same morning. Reyes-Hernandez's phone also had a video clip that showed her on the front-facing camera and then Perez in a bathroom washing his hands when the view was switched to the rear camera. Detectives used that, as well as multiple video surveillance cameras around the area that showed a man coming and going from the scene of the crime to zero in on Perez. When they executed a search warrant at his home, they found a gun with the same type of bullets that were used to kill the victim. The 18-year-old was arrested at his Marquette Park home last Sunday, June 14, and reportedly charged with first-degree murder. He confessed to the police that he had even moved her car after the murder because he realized they would be "tracking the car."

During his court appearance, he appeared to show no remorse and was caught lowering his face mask and smiling several times. He also tried to give a statement but didn't after he was warned not to speak by his assistant public defender. Perez, who reportedly has no criminal record and had summer jobs at a factory in Chicago, was ordered to held without bail by Judge Arthur Wesley Willis. He is scheduled to make his next court appearance on July 6.

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