'A heart full of life': National Guard soldier, 19, found shot to death outside Belmont Cragin party

'He was not gang-affiliated. He was not hanging with the wrong people.'

ByAlexis McAdams WLS logo
Monday, July 5, 2021
National guardsman killed in drive-by outside Belmont Cragin party
A 19-year-old man who recently completed his National Guard training was found shot to death early Saturday in Belmont Cragin on the Northwest Side.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A 19-year-old National Guard soldier was found shot to death early Saturday in Belmont Cragin on the Northwest Side.

His family identified him as Chrys Carvajal, although, the Cook County medical examiner has yet to release his name.

"My brother. He was all of life. He had a bright future in front of him," said Carvajal's sister Jennifer Ramirez.

The 19-year-old just completed basic training and was back home in Chicago as he waited to be assigned to a permanent unit, Army National Guard officials confirmed Sunday.

"When he left for the National Guard this is how we felt. We felt like we were losing him because my mom, she raised us together. We never left each other," Ramirez said.

His short trip home ended when his mother was woken up by two Chicago Police officers who told her Carvajal had been shot and killed.

"If you know something, please speak up," said the soldier's other sister Brittney Carvajal.

Carvajal was gunned down early Saturday morning in a drive-by shooting in the city's Belmont-Cragin neighborhood.

Witnesses said two cars drove up, opened fire and took off.

Officers responded to the call of shots fired in the 2200 block of North Lockwood Avenue about 1:25 a.m. and found the teen lying unresponsive on the sidewalk with gunshot wounds to the back and abdomen, Chicago police said.

"Chrys went to a house party near Belden and Lockwood Friday night," Ramirez explained. "He stepped outside to get something from his car and he never came back."

A neighbor called 911 after they said they spotted a red 4-door sedan leaving the area.

"Just a bunch of cowards. They think they are big and bad with guns," added Carvajal's brother Anthony.

He was transported to Illinois Masonic Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, according to police.

There are currently no witnesses to the shooting, police said.

His siblings now stand together outside of their home, asking anyone with information to do the right thing.

"A heart full of life and a good boy. He was not gang-affiliated. He was not hanging with the wrong people," Ramirez said.

The Illinois National Guard released a statement Sunday.

"Our hearts go out to Private 1st Class Carvajal's family and friends. Although he was new to the military, he took a sacred oath to protect both our state and nation. Our thoughts are with his loved ones after this sudden and terrible loss," the statement read.

Area Five detectives are investigating.

The soldier is among 44 shot, 9 killed so far in July 4th weekend violence.

The Sun-Times Media report contributed to this article.