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18-year-old dies after being shot 7 times outside Chicago home

Published: Sep. 26, 2021 at 11:19 PM CDT
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CHICAGO (WLS) - A Chicago family is in mourning after an 18-year-old woman was gunned down while sitting in her car outside her own home.

Melissa “Azul” de la Garza was just 18 years old when she was fatally shot sitting inside her car Saturday night. She’d just arrived at her home after a day spent with her mother.

“They went to buy Halloween costumes. They had a great day. She was just coming home and trying to get inside,” said the victim’s sister, Isabel de la Garza.

Melissa “Azul” de la Garza, 18, was one of four siblings. She loved to paint but was planning...
Melissa “Azul” de la Garza, 18, was one of four siblings. She loved to paint but was planning to work for a year, even after being admitted to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.(Source: Family photos, WLS via CNN)

Melissa de la Garza, who went by the nickname Azul, was shot seven times, according to her grandmother, who also says three suspects were seen running away down a nearby alley.

“It is a nightmare,” said the grandmother, Clara de la Garza, in Spanish. “Who is going to fill this hole? It’s unbelievable how this city is being consumed by violence.”

Relatives say officers were alerted to the incident by a nearby ShotSpotter, a gunshot detection system, and arrived on the scene just moments after Azul de la Garza’s father ran out of the house, having heard the gunshots himself.

“He saw my sister sitting in the car. He was screaming her name, and she wasn’t responding. My dad opened the door and just held her,” Isabel de la Garza said.

Azul de la Garza was one of at least five people killed in Chicago over the weekend.

She was one of four siblings and had just graduated from Solorio Academy, where she was one of the first young women to participate in the high school’s wrestling team. She was also an artist, who loved to paint, and was planning to work for a year, even after being admitted to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

“She had so much ambition… She’s so artistic. I’ll remember her as my best friend, my rock, the person I always went to. She always gave me advice,” Isabel de la Garza said.

Police are still looking for the person or persons responsible for Azul de la Garza’s death. Anyone with information that might lead to an arrest should call detectives at Area One.

Copyright 2021 WLS via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.