“My heart is torn.” Man struggling with South Shore attack that devastated his family – NBC Chicago


Omar Burgos worried about his transgender daughter after moving to Florida more than a decade ago and leaving the 20-year-old and her two siblings in Chicago.

On Monday evening, he learned that Unique Banks and her mother, Alexsandra Olmo, had been shot dead in their South Shore apartment in an attack that left three other people seriously injured.

“Nobody just comes to your house and starts killing people,” said Burgos, who lives in Orlando and works as a mechanic for American Airlines. “Something happened, but what happened? I do not know.”

Police have released few details about the circumstances of the shooting, other than that it happened during a “targeted home invasion”.

A police source told the Sun-Times that Olmo’s boyfriend and two other transgender women survived the attack. But there is currently no indication that the shooting targeted Banks and the other transgender women because of how they identified, the source said.

“The Chicago Police Department is still investigating this incident and will provide additional information after speaking with people close to the victims, out of respect for the victims and their families,” a department spokesperson said in a statement.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office had still not released the identities of Banks and his mother, saying their family had not been officially notified of their deaths. Banks was the name she used after the transition, according to her attorney, Patrick Fagan.

Banks and her mother were pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting in the 2900 block of East 78th Street on Monday afternoon, police said. Three other people were taken in critical condition to the University of Chicago Medical Center, according to firefighters.

One of the victims drove half a mile to a McDonald’s, where police and paramedics were called. The person had been grazed in the neck and shot in the back and arm, police said at the scene.

Deputy Chief of Police Sean Loughran described the shooting as a “heinous crime”, but declined to discuss a possible motive. “What I can say specifically is that it doesn’t appear to be a random act,” he added.

Burgos said his “heart is torn”, noting that he had dreamed of bringing her to Florida to live with him. “I still can’t believe it, just knowing that I won’t see [Unique] more.”

As he recalled their trips together to Miami and Puerto Rico, he remembered the advice he had given her. “Try to do good. Stay out of trouble. Be careful with the friends you choose,” he said.

But, he acknowledged, kids “grow up and start doing their own thing.”

NBC Chicago

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