A teenager in Illinois is accused of a string of carjackings and murder after he and a second juvenile allegedly gunned down an elderly woman getting ready to go to work.
Around 4:30 a.m. Aug. 16, Yvonne Ruzich, 70, was sitting in her car outside her job at the convenience store Baltimore Food, Deli, and Liquor in Chicago and speaking through a rolled down window with her son double-parked in a second vehicle.
As they talked before Ruzich was to begin her shift, Malique Long, 17, and a second juvenile suspect pulled up behind the mother and son in what police later determined was a 2009 Saturn Aura stolen in an earlier carjacking. Shortly after the suspects — one wearing all black, the other all white, and both in masks — got out of the car, the second suspect shot one round at Ruzich, WBBM-TV reported.
The injured mother of seven and her son were both able to flee, but Ruzich crashed her vehicle a half block away. The two assailants and a third driving the stolen Saturn allegedly then drove up to her crashed car and fired at her at least seven times. The victim was struck four times during the attack and died from her injuries.
Witnesses who were familiar with the juveniles identified them for police, and officers took Long, the 17-year-old suspect, into custody on Aug. 26.
Authorities have charged Long as an adult with first-degree murder and he is being held without bail,according to WBBM-TV. The second juvenile is still at large, but police said they were “confident” they know who he is and an arrest is imminent.
Ruzich’s boyfriend, Phillip McGivney, said that “everybody clapped and stood up” when hearing about Long’s arrest. “It was just unbelievable. Justice is being served.”
“I want to thank everybody involved, and then really just the thoughts should go out to the family here for the victim," Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said. "Once again, a 70-year-old victim still working, going to work at 4:30 in the morning, and life tragically ended just for trying to get a piece of property, a car."
“There’s no reason to shoot someone besides the fact that she wouldn’t give up her car in that quick of a manner,” Deenihan noted of the “senseless” killing. “Obviously the victim didn’t do anything wrong in this case.”