A teen accused of gunning down a 70-year-old Chicago woman during a botched carjacking is also being eyed in a violent crime spree prior to the slaying, police said.
The suspect, identified by CBS Chicago as Malique Long, 17, and a second unidentified teen are accused in the caught-on-camera killing of Yvonne Ruzich as she sat outside the grocery store where she worked on Aug. 16, Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said Friday.
“Her life is tragically ended really for no reason other than a car here,” Deenihan told reporters of the early morning attack outside Baltimore Food and Liquor in Chicago’s South Side.
Long and a second suspect were identified with the help of tips from the community. The teen appeared in court Saturday, where he is being charged as an adult.
After shooting into Ruzich’s car, the suspects got back into their stolen vehicle and drove up to the retired city sanitation worker’s car and fired several more round before driving off, Deenihan said.
“I mean, it’s senseless,” Deenihan said of the murder of the woman known as “Grandma Jo” in her Hegewisch neighborhood. “There’s no reason to shoot someone besides the fact that she wouldn’t give up her car in that quick of a manner.”
A motive in the killing remains unclear, but Long and his accomplice were in a stolen car and are believed to have been involved in several carjackings prior to the slaying. Cops said four stolen cars, including one recovered in Indiana, may be tied to the suspects, Deenihan said.
Long, who is being held without bail, has yet to be charged in any of those alleged prior carjackings, CBS Chicago reported.
Long, who has been charged with first-degree murder as an adult, has not given a statement to detectives, Deenihan said.
The footage released by cops showed two suspects — one in all-black clothing and a second in a light-colored sweatshirt and light pants.
Long, who lives with his mother, is expected to return Tuesday, CBS Chicago reported. It’s unclear if he’s hired an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
No additional arrests had been made as of early Monday, Chicago police told The Post.
“Detectives are still investigating,” Chicago police spokeswoman Kellie Bartoli wrote in an email.
Investigators, however, said they know the identity of the second suspect involved in Ruzich’s slaying, who will be also be charged as an adult, Deenihan said.
“We know who we’re looking for,” he said Friday. “We’re confident that we’ll be able to arrest them in the near future.”