Chicago records year's first murder

January 1, 2012 10:00:00 PM PST
A 19-year-old Harold Washington College student is Chicago's first murder victim of the year.

Nicholas Camacho, 19, was out with several friends early Monday morning when they stopped in an alley in the 3200-block of West Lawrence. Camacho was a passenger in a vehicle.

His family believes he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

By all accounts, the murder appears to be random. Camacho was shot in the head when, police said, the victim, along with four friends stopped in an alley near Lawrence and Kedzie to relieve themselves.

As the friends stood in the alley, police say they were approached by a man flashing gang signs, along with five to eight other men. Camacho and his friends quickly got back into their car, but the man opened fire on the vehicle, striking Camacho in the head.

No arrests have been made.

Speaking to Camacho's family today, his father told ABC7 his son was on break following his first semester studying video design at Harold Washington College. He said his friends called him around 1 a.m. and he had left the house still in his pajamas to talk to them on the front porch. They had gone to drop off the girlfriend of one of his friends when the shooting happened.

"He was a good boy," said Jose Camacho, the victim's father. "Why he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, I don't know but he wouldn't lift a finger to hurt nobody. He'll make you laugh but wouldn't hurt you."

Camacho's cousin, Emily Sanchez, said he was the family prankster and the one all the kids in the family gravitated to.

"He was a kid that was always joking around, quick witted, quick as a whip, really smart and was loved by everyone," she said.

Camacho died at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston.

"Whoever did this really needs to know that you have broken this family," Sanchez said. "You have taken a special part of us away that we can never get back. Shame on you. Shame on you."