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Tribune update on Rocco Lopez stabbing

From the Chicago Tribune:

Rocco Lopez killing: Chicago stabbing victim’s family angered after prosecutors reject charges

Cook County office says evidence in Edgewater knifing points to self-defense

This holiday season was bleak for Rocco Lopez’s family, still mourning his fatal stabbing three months ago in what authorities said may have been an act of self-defense.

“I tell you, it’s so confusing,” said Rocco’s mother, Gloria Lopez, adding that the family still struggles with anger over how the case was handled and that no one has been charged. “It’s like something is still missing.”

On the evening of Sept. 19, Rocco Lopez was walking with a group of friends and encountered a man whom family members described as a panhandler.

Lopez, 32, had some kind of confrontation in an alley with the man, possibly over money, according to authorities and his family. The struggle moved to the street in the 1100 block of West Berwyn Avenue, where the man pulled out a kitchen knife and stabbed Lopez in the neck, police had said soon after the incident.

The man also stabbed one of Lopez’s friends in the neck, then ran to a nearby “L” station where he shouted for help, said officials with the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

He yelled, ” ‘These guys are after me — they’re trying to hurt me,’ ” said state’s attorney spokeswoman Sally Daly. “It was as if he was running away from an attack.”

Witnesses, Daly said, had seen Lopez and his friends chase the man, then engage in the dispute.

But according to his family, it’s unclear who initiated the encounter. Rocco Lopez of the 2100 block of South Spaulding Avenue and his friends were unarmed, family members said. The only witness to the alley incident, Gloria Lopez said, was a man so inebriated police were unable to interview him.

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