HUMBOLDT PARK — A man accused of killing a 50-year-old restaurant patron in Humboldt Park was trying to shoot his ex-girlfriend, a restaurant employee whom he’d been stalking and threatening for weeks, prosecutors said Monday.
Charlie Moreno, 41, was charged Monday with first-degree murder, attempted murder and being an armed habitual criminal. Authorities say Moreno fatally shot Felipe Ruiz Santiago and wounded his ex-girlfriend Friday evening at Curramba, a Colombian restaurant at 2701 W. Division St.
A Cook County judge held Moreno, who has prior convictions for gun-related offenses, held without bail at a court hearing Monday.
The shooting occurred at 9:20 p.m. Friday, authorities said. Moreno pulled up to Curramba in his car and fired at his ex-girlfriend while she was standing outside the restaurant for a cigarette break, prosecutors said.
The woman and other restaurant employees and patrons ran for cover as shots rang out and bullets flew through the Humboldt Park restaurant, prosecutors said.
Santiago, who was seated in back of the restaurant, was hit in his neck, officials said. He was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, authorities said. The woman was treated for a graze wound to her hand, police said.
The woman identified Moreno as the shooter, giving responding police officers a description of his car and his license plate number, prosecutors said.
Surveillance cameras captured Moreno’s car traveling down Division Street at the time of the shooting, with the driver opening fire toward Curramba, prosecutors said.
Police arrested Moreno about an hour after the shooting in the 3300 block of West August Boulevard, prosecutors said. A police lieutenant found Moreno driving with a handgun. Two shell casings were recovered from car, prosecutors said.
Ballistics testing is still pending, prosecutors said.
Moreno and the woman dated for about eight months. While they were dating, Moreno physically abused her “on a daily basis,” prosecutors said. At least two police reports were filed accusing Moreno of domestic violence, prosecutors said.
When the woman got a job at Curramba about a month ago, Moreno began stalking her, driving over to the restaurant and waiting for her outside, prosecutors said.
Moreno sent the woman a series of threatening text messages several days before the shooting, saying he was going to kill her. He threatened he was going to shoot her at work and he had a gun, prosecutors said.
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Three days before the fatal shooting, the woman was in the back seat of her friend’s car near Curramba when Moreno drove up and fired shots at her, prosecutors said. No one was injured.
Detectives were still investigating that shooting when Moreno returned to Curramba Friday and opened fire again — this time wounding the woman and killing Santiago, prosecutors said.
Arguing for no bail, prosecutors said Moreno has a “significant” criminal history.
Moreno was on parole for aggravated battery with a firearm at the time of Friday’s shooting, prosecutors said. In that case, Moreno was trying to rob a man, and then shot him twice in the chest and once in the face, prosecutors said. He was sentenced to 15 years in jail for that case, prosecutors said.
Moreno was also convicted of aggravated battery with a firearm in 2003. Prosecutors said that shooting started with Moreno arguing with a person using a pay phone. Moreno then shot the person in the leg before “callously” walking away, prosecutors said.
“This defendant chooses to arm himself with firearms and chooses to fire those guns and hurt people. And in this case, the defendant killed one of the victims in the matter,” an assistant state’s attorney said at the court hearing Monday.
Moreno’s defense attorney said Moreno has lived in Chicago his whole life, worked at a glass fabricator and lives with his parents.
Asking for a “reasonable” bail, Moreno’s defense attorney said the case leans too heavily on one witness, Moreno’s ex-girlfriend.
A judge Monday sided with prosecutors in denying Moreno bail.
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