LOGAN SQUARE — Friends of Alexa Baute, the 27-year-old who was killed by a stray bullet in Logan Square in early April, are selling enamel pins to honor the young woman gone too soon.
All proceeds from the pins, which can be bought online for $15, are going to the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, a cause Baute cared deeply about.
“I’m just trying to remember my girl and [make it so] everyone she touched is able to have something, too,” longtime friend Alli Eck said.
Baute was shot and killed around 8 p.m. April 7, just a few blocks from her Logan Square apartment.
The 27-year-old was outside of the 7-Eleven at Fullerton and Milwaukee avenues with her best friend when a bullet came flying through the air, pierced her chest and ended her life.
Baute’s tragic death sent shock waves through her circle of family and friends, and the broader neighborhood.
Baute was a “happy soul” and a “strong spirit” who always had friends around her and liked to play music and go to shows with friends.
Baute’s grief-stricken parents and friends struggled to understand her sudden passing. No one knew where the gunfire came from, or had even heard the bullet.
Eck and the rest of Baute’s many friends have been overcome with grief since that fateful day.
Eck found out Baute was gone the night she was killed through a friend’s group text.
“I threw my phone, I cried, I immediately started drinking Malort which was her favorite drink and started listening to all of the bands she liked,” Eck said.
Eck had been friends with Baute for more than a decade. Eck met Baute at a +44 show at The Metro when they were both 14 years old. The two bonded over their love of music — specifically Blink 182 — and remained close for years, eventually attending Columbia College Chicago together for a semester.
“She was very essential to my coming of age,” Eck said.
After Baute’s death, Eck, a designer, and several other friends of Baute wanted to do something creative to honor Baute. They landed on creating an enamel pin of her likeness because Baute always wore pins and patches.
The text — “Damaged Goods” — is the title of a Gang of Four song that Baute loved.
“She’d think it was really rad,” Eck said.
The pins are also meant to keep Baute’s loved ones connected at a time when gathering isn’t allowed. Because of the pandemic, Baute’s parents weren’t able to hold a proper funeral and Baute’s friends haven’t been able to get together as a group.
“I wanted a way that we could celebrate her life without being around each other,” Eck said.
It’s been more than two months since Baute was killed. As of Monday, police haven’t made any arrests in Baute’s case and detectives are continuing to investigate.
Baute’s loved ones are offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who has information that might lead to an arrest, up from the $7,000 they initially offered.
“Somebody has to know. Whoever did this, they know people. People talk,” Baute’s mother, Patricia, told Block Club in May.
“After a week, everybody’s life goes back to normal, but my life will never go back to normal. It doesn’t go away in a week or two weeks. I think about that the more time that goes on. If they don’t find out who it is, it’s going to be with the however many cases that are unsolved. It’s just going to be another one.”
Eck said another reason she and other friends are funneling all of the proceeds to the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression is to help dismantle systemic poverty, racism and police brutality that allow shootings like this one to occur.
“I wanted to keep her close, but also fight something bigger,” Eck said.
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