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Who killed Melissa Ortega? Killers of Chicago girl, 8, grabbed sandwiches after crime

Melissa Ortega, an eight-year-old girl, was shot dead in Chicago's Little Village over the weekend
UPDATED JAN 28, 2022
Aracely Leaños and her 8-year-old daughter Melissa Ortega (@JackieKostek/Twitter)
Aracely Leaños and her 8-year-old daughter Melissa Ortega (@JackieKostek/Twitter)

LITTLE VILLAGE, ILLINOIS: Melissa Ortega, an eight-year-old girl, was shot dead in Chicago's Little Village over the weekend. The shooting took place in the afternoon of Saturday, January 22, as gunfire reportedly erupted during a fight between rival gang members in the 3900-block of West 26th Street. As Ortega crossed the street with her mother, she was caught in the crossfire and shot twice in the head.

Two people -- 16-year-old boy and a man -- were later arrested for the killing. Emilio Corripio, 16, was charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder. He is being charged as an adult. Surveillance footage revealed that it was Corripio who fired the bullets that hit the girl. 27-year-old Xavier Guzman, the alleged getaway driver, was charged with murder, attempted murder and unauthorized use of a weapon, Chicago Police Supt David Brown said. Both defendants have been denied bail.


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In a shocking claim, prosecutors alleged that the killers grabbed sandwiches right after the murder. “They drove to a Subway to get Subway sandwiches,” Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said at a hearing. “They are seen laughing, having a good time, and then they go to a gas station to buy beverages.”

At the time of the crime, Corripio was on juvenile probation after pleading guilty to two carjackings and possession of a stolen vehicle. "You failed this child. You're failing this city. That's from the State's Attorney's Office to the judges and anybody that had anything to do with that paperwork in letting this young man out," said Andrew Holmes, community activist. According to prosecutors, a second child was nearly shot but thankfully escaped the bullets along with her father.

Soon after the tragedy, a pastor from the community in Little Village read out a heart-wrenching note by the girl's mother. "Moments before the incident happened, Melissa asked me, 'Mom, can you buy me a hamburger?' To which I replied, 'Of course. Do you want it now, or after we go to the bank?'" Pastor Matt DeMateo said, reading the words of Aracely Leaños, Ortega's mother. "'We can go later, I'm not that hungry right now. But do you promise to buy it for me?' In that moment, I promised her I would buy her that hamburger. However, I couldn't. I wasn't able to fulfill that promise. My daughter stopped holding my hand, and without explanation, I found her on the floor with a puddle of blood and a bullet to her head."