'All I heard was shots': Sister was on phone with little brother when 2 killed outside CPS school

Chicago police released a surveillance photo Saturday of a suspect believed to be involved in a deadly shooting

ByTre Ward and Maher Kawash WLS logo
Sunday, December 18, 2022
'All I heard was shots': Sister was on phone with little brother when 2 killed outside CPS school
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One of the victims' sister described being on the phone with her little brother during his final moments.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A second teen killed outside a school on Chicago's a Southwest Side Friday has been identified.

This comes after Chicago police released surveillance images Saturday of the person they believe was involved in the deadly shooting that left two teens dead and two others injured.

The shooting happened right outside Benito Juarez Community Academy in the 2100-block of Laflin Street in Pilsen, according to police.

Family members have identified 14-year-old Nathan Billegas as one of the two victims.

Billegas was a freshman student at Chicago Bulls College Prep, his family told ABC7.

They said he was meeting with his friend, 15-year-old Brandon Perez, at Benito Juarez Community Academy when shots rang out.

The two friends were both shot and killed. The Cook County Medical Examiner confirmed Perez as on of the victims Friday afternoon.

Two other teenagers were also hurt in the shooting, but are expected to survive.

"If you knew him, you knew that he would do anything for anybody," Billegas' sister. "And, I hope we get justice for him."

She is terrified to show her face but eager to have her voice heard, while her family grieves the murder of her little brother.

The shooting happened just as classes were being let out and students were coming outside.

Billegas and Perez were both fatally shot in the head, police said. Another 15-year-old boy was shot in the thigh and shoulder, and a 15-year-old girl sustained a graze wound to the thigh. Both were taken to Stroger hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

WATCH | CPD give update after 4 teens shot, 2 killed in Pilsen

Four teens have been shot, two killed, in a shooting outside Benito Juarez High School in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood Friday.

"I wouldn't wish this pain on anybody. Not even my worst enemy," his sister said.

Before those two teenagers were taken to Stroger Hospital, where they died, it was Billegas' sister who told ABC7 that she saw their final moments. She said she was on the phone with her brother as he was meeting up with Perez outside of the school. That's when she says he hung up the phone, she heard the shots, ran to them and found them both on the ground.

"We were on the call and I heard when they said what they said, and that was that. I had a feeling it was going to be my brother, but I didn't want to believe it," she said. "The call hung up and all I heard was shots. And, I went to my brother and he was on the floor, and I was just in shock, seeing my little brother like that."

Billegas' grandmother is now left in tears. Her granddaughter, interpreting her pain.

"She would say to him that she loves him a lot, and he's always going to be a little boy because she raised him," said Billegas' grandmother, Nanette Hernandez.

"He was too young for this to happen to him," Billegas' sister said. "I hope he feels really guilty for what he did, and I hope that it eats him alive."

Fire officials said the shooting happened outside the school and one of the victims ran inside during the incident.

The school immediately went on lockdown, and students were rushed back inside for hours as police investigated.

"All of us are trying to find answers. Of course, I'm very concerned because this happened on our grounds," said Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez.

One of the students killed and one of the students injured were Noble Schools students, according to a statement put out by Constance Jones, CEO of Noble Schools.

"We send our condolences to the families of these students and we stand in solidarity with the Benito Juarez High School community as they grieve during this time," Constance said.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot released a statement in a multiple tweet thread Saturday saying in part "I am beyond outraged by this incident, which highlights the pressing need for illegal guns to be taken off our streets and out of the hands of those seeking to cause harm."

Police aren't saying yet whether or not this shooting was targeted.

"Hearing all this shootings in schools, it's scary. It's scary to find out that your daughter is in one of the schools that just got shot," said Emanuel Orozco, another school parent.

No one is in custody and Area Three detectives are investigating.

CPS released a statement that said:

"The safety of our school community is our top priority. This afternoon, we received reports that shots had been fired outside of Benito Juarez High School shortly after dismissal. The Chicago Police Department (CPD) and paramedics responded quickly to the scene. CPS remains in close contact with CPD and this incident is under investigation. The CPS Office of Safety and Security and other District leadership are working closely with school leadership and staff as well as CPD to gather information and respond to this incident. CPS will keep Benito Juarez families updated as well as the greater community. Our thoughts are with all those impacted by this tragedy."

WATCH | CPS CEO Pedro Martinez speaks after deadly shooting outside SW Side school

Four teens have been shot, two killed, in a shooting outside Benito Juarez High School in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood Friday.

"Schools are the cornerstone of neighborhoods and students deserve to feel safe," Governor JB Pritzker said on Twitter Friday. "We must put an end to these unspeakable tragedies and rid our communities of gun violence."

Senator Dick Durbin also posted his condolences on Twitter Friday after the deadly shooting, saying in part, "Progress was made in Congress this year. But w/ gun violence now the leading cause of death for America's children, we must do more."

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