Chicago Violence

Teen Charged With Murder of Woman, 70, Fatally Shot As She Waited in Her Car Before Work

A 17-year-old boy was charged with first degree murder of a 70-year-old woman who was fatally shot in an ambush as she waited in her car before work last week, according to police.

Yvonne Ruzich was fatally shot on Chicago's Far South Side on Aug. 16 in the early morning while waiting in her car for the grocery store where she worked to open. She was ambushed and killed, according to her boyfriend, who said her stepson had stopped by to say hi to her before work and witnessed the entire attack.

Ruzich had been parked outside Baltimore Food and Liquors for a few minutes before two men approached her car and opened fire, police and her boyfriend Phil McGivney said.

She had arrived early for her shift at the store in the 13300 block of South Baltimore Avenue in the city's Hegewisch neighborhood when the shooting took place at around 4:25 a.m., according to police.

The men shot at Ruzich, striking her once before she drove down the block and hit a street sign, coming to a stop, according to police. At that point the men chased her in their car and shot at her again multiple times, McGivney said.

Ruzich was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center where she was pronounced dead, according to police.

McGivney said Ruzich was a former city worker who had retired from her previous role with the Department of Streets and Sanitation but told him she wanted to work at the grocery store because she liked staying busy.

"I'd get up with her every morning and have coffee and walk her to the car and she'd be ready for another day of making people happy," McGivney said.

"Yvonne was the kindest person," 10th Ward Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza said. "She was the face, she was the person of Baltimore Foods when you went in, which I just saw her Friday."

"Every single person that came in here, she made feel special," Sadlowski Garza added.

"She'd do anything in the world for anybody and always did," McGivney said, adding, "Her grandkids were probably the most important thing in her life."

"It took me a long time to find anybody I really wanted to be with and now she's gone," McGivney continued. "And she was wonderful. You can ask anyone in this town and they'll all tell you - she was outstanding."

McGivney said Ruzich's stepson would often stop by the grocery store to say hi to her on his way to work, and that he was there Monday and witnessed the shooting.

"It's just a horrible thing to a wonderful person: a 70-year-old woman who just wants to go to work and this happens," McGivney said. "It makes no sense to me whatsoever.

"These people need to realize what they do to other people," he continued. "I don't know what to do with my life now. I lost my best friend."

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