Cicero shooting: Man fatally shot girlfriend, cousin before turning gun on self, family says

Thursday, January 4, 2024
Family remembers women slain in Cicero double murder-suicide
Family is remembering the two women killed in a double murder-suicide in the west suburbs.

CICERO, Ill. (WLS) -- A man who was later found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in a Cicero park shot and killed his girlfriend and her cousin and wounded his infant son Tuesday night, the victims' family members and police say.

Scraps of red crime scene tape hang from a fence post while a child's green bike sits on its side in the front yard of a home on the 1800-block of South 48th Court in Cicero, the scene of what police are now calling a double homicide.

Cicero police said they responded to reports of gunfire just before 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, and found two women wounded by gunfire. Police said they were rushed to Mt. Sinai Hospital, where they died.

The two victims were identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office as 29-year-old Jessica Hughes and 19-year-old Myeshia Newby.

Wednesday morning, Cicero police announced that an unidentified man was found dead at a park from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, just a mile away from where the two women were shot.

Newby's family said she and the alleged shooter were in a relationship, and were apparently arguing over a Link card before he shot and killed her and her cousin.

"It's devastating for the whole family," Hughes' mother Michelle Musgray said. "They were loving, both of them, loving moms, good souls, good people, loved their kids. Their kids were their world."

On Wednesday, family members slowly trickled inside the scene of the crime, grappling with the reality of what happened behind its brick walls.

"It went from one thing to the next. There was never any loud hollering or anything," Hughes' father Mitchell Benton said.

Benton recounted the moment he heard his young relative, Newby, arguing with her boyfriend of two years in a basement bedroom.

"He come back down and said, 'Here, look at my wallet.' She said, 'You done went up there and took it out.' So, she said, 'Well, ain't no point in me looking in it then.' And the next thing I know, I'm hearing shot," Benton said.

Benton said Newby's boyfriend shot and killed her before turning the gun toward Benton's daughter and Newby's cousin, Hughes, as she was trying to get away with Newby's infant son, Arturo, who she shared with the alleged shooter.

The infant was grazed, and is recovering at a hospital, where he remains stable.

Family said the baby underwent surgery Wednesday night at Comer Children's Hospital, and is expected to be OK.

"My daughter dropped at my feet. She had the baby in her hand. She had been shot in the face and in the chest. And, he was trying to get by me, so me and him got to fighting," Benton said.

He said the man managed to get away.

Cicero police quickly responded to the home, searching for the alleged shooter with dogs and a helicopter.

Cicero officials gave an update Wednesday on an alleged double murder-suicide.

But the family said he escaped to a park near 16th Street and Central Avenue, where police found him early Wednesday morning, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Police identified the shooter during a news conference Wednesday evening as 21-year-old Rafael Vega.

"Preliminarily, the subject in the park does appear to be the subject we were seeking," Cicero Police Superintendent Thomas Boyle said.

Police said there is no danger to the public.

Thursday would've been Newby's 20th birthday.

"There's no celebration. You can't celebrate life. There is no life," Benton said.

America Pantoja lives near the scene of the shooting and said she heard three gunshots.

"It's concerning," neighbor America Pantoja said. "I was walking towards my car when I heard the gunshot; her youngest daughter screamed out my name. It's frustrating, gun violence."