An Aurora man was found guilty of murder on Thursday for his role in a 2009 drive-by shooting in Oswego, Kendall County State’s Attorney Eric Weis said.
A jury convicted Francisco Salazar, 22, of Aurora, of one count of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder after deliberating for less than three hours, Weis said.
The drive-by shooting occurred in the early morning hours of Dec. 20, 2009, on Long Beach Road near Douglas Road, police said. A car driven by Salazar pulled up alongside another vehicle, and shots were fired. Jason Ventura of Aurora, the driver of the second car, was shot in the head and killed.
A passenger, Eduardo Gayton of Aurora, was injured in the shooting. Second passenger Jorge Ruiz of Aurora was not harmed.
Oswego police stopped the car driven by Salazar minutes after the shooting occurred, Weis said. They recovered the murder weapon (a .45 caliber handgun), clothing linked to the crime, and gunshot residue on Salazar’s car, Weis said. Police also found 11 shell casings at the scene, Weis said.
Weis said that evidence presented at trial indicated that Salazar is a member of the Latin Kings street gang, and this shooting was gang related. Jason Ventura, Weis said, was not a gang member, but “happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time when the shooting occurred.”
Salazar’s bail was revoked, and he will be sentenced on July 11 at 1 p.m., Weis said. Salazar faces between 32 and 120 years in prison.
In January, Zachary Reyes of Aurora, who was 16 at the time of the crime, of firing the shots. He was found guilty of the same charges as Salazar—one count of first-degree murder, and two counts of attempted first-degree murder—and to 97 years in prison.
Reyes, Weis said, is a self-admitted member of the Latin Kings.