$15K reward offered to catch person who killed Humboldt Park community activist

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Saturday, February 4, 2023
$15K reward to catch person who killed NW Side community activist
There is a $15,000 reward being offered to help catch the person who shot and killed beloved community activist Ruben Olivares in Humboldt Park.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There is a $15,000 reward being offered to help catch the person who shot and killed a beloved community activist in Humboldt Park.

Ruben Olivares died in January after being gunned down outside his home on Cortez near Kedzie.

Olivares died five days after he was shot, on his wife's birthday and just one day before he was set to turn 37. Instead of celebrating his life, his family are now hoping police will find the person who took it away.

"He was one of those really good people," said his brother Ciro Olivares, Jr.

Olivares' family is hoping the community he served will now help them solve his murder.

"We want justice. His daughters are four and seven, and they're going to need him. They ask for their big guy all the time," his brother said.

A memorial now stands at the spot where the 36-year-old was shot on Jan. 18. His wife and two daughters were hiding inside their home after the shots were fired.

"So, she calls him to tell him to be careful, they're shooting outside. He tells her, 'I know. I got shot. Just call the ambulance,'" Olivares, Jr. said.

One of the bullets struck a major artery in his leg. He died five days later.

Olivares was a musician and businessman, owning two bakeries while helping with his mother's store, La Luna, in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood for decades.

But it was at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 when he began his activism on the Northwest Side, raising awareness of vaccine education.

"This one was one of our leaders, a leader that was serving. So, it hit hard and just reminds us that our work is not done," said Vanessa Valentin, who worked with Olivares.

Cook County Crimestoppers will be out in Humboldt Park Saturday to pass out fliers in his case. The $15,000 reward is for any information leading to an arrest.

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