Murder victim's family offers $5K reward

February 23, 2012 3:49:09 PM PST
Harry Rodriguez Jr. was shot and killed four months ago as he was celebrating his birthday on Chicago's Northwest Side.

No one has been arrested for his murder.

Rodriguez's family has been devastated by his murder. His mother and relatives hoped that the person responsible for claiming his life would have been arrested by now. But the trail appears to have gone cold. That is why the family is urging the public to get involved.

"If anyone knows anything, I beg you as a mother, please help me," said Elizbabeth Ramirez, Rodriguez's mother.

Rodriguez, known as DJ was gunned down on October 23, 2011.

"DJ was a great person and inspirations to all of us," said Nancy Berrios, Rodriguez's aunt.

"But please, we only want justice for my brother," said Vanessa Rodriguez, sister.

On Thursday morning, with the support of Alderman Emma Mitts, the family put up a $5,000 reward, hoping for information leading to the arrest of the gunman responsible for slaying the Northwest Side resident.

Rodriguez and his mother volunteered for Mitts' new 37th Ward Democratic organization.

"I feel her pain," said Mitts. "She just wasn't a volunteer, she worked consistently with us many years."

On the day of the murder, as Rodriguez attended an early birthday celebration at a friend's house, at least one masked gunmen opened fire without warning on the LeClaire Avenue home from the street.

Rodgriguez, a Chicago Park District youth coach, died just three before his 24th birthday.

"They missed my son by a couple of inches," said Charles Niz, family friend. "He died in my son's arms."

Police say don't believe DJ was the intended target of the attack. His murder remains unsolved.

"We know there are people who are still out there we may have been unable to identify and speak with regards to what happened," said Sargeant Jim Prugar, Area 5 police detective.

But for Rodriguez's grieving mother, for now there's very little that can ease the lost of a son.

"I want justice for my baby," she said. "Nobody knows the pain I'm going through day and night. I miss my son so much. We miss him."

The family says an arrest or even a good lead would help them move toward some sort of closure.

Anyone with information is asked to call police.