Friends and coworkers of a Chicago woman are praying for her recovery after she was caught in the crossfire of a vicious exchange of gunfire in the city’s Ravenswood neighborhood last week.
According to Chicago police, 24-year-old Erica Llueva was in the backyard of a residence in the 2400 block of West Eastwood at approximately 2:42 p.m. on April 20 when gunfire rang out.
She was struck four times, once in the jaw and three times in the chest, according to her friend Jake Campos.
“She was shot once in the jaw, three times in the chest,” he said. “The way she described it, it sounded like an action movie. It felt like I was there. It was horrifying and something that I don’t want her to experience ever again.”
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Friends say it appears she was caught in the crossfire of a gun battle while sitting in her car. Witnesses told police that they heard several men arguing at the location before the shooting, and the gunfire left Llueva’s car riddled with bullet holes.
Llueva has been a dog walker for Wheaton-based Adventure Tails for three years, and the owner says she loves the animals and does everything in her power to make them happy.
“It doesn’t matter what time of day, it doesn’t matter what she’s in the middle of. Her response is always ‘you bet, I got you,’” owner Taylor Favela said. “That’s her thing.”
Clients of the service have reached out seeking to help with Llueva’s expenses and medical bills, and a fundraiser has already raised more than $5,000 toard that goal.
“All of the clients were reaching out and asking how they could help and what they could do to support her,” Favela said. “So this was just a way for us to try to make things a little bit easier for her and just let her focus on what she needs to focus on.”
In spite of the long recovery ahead of her, Campos says that he is confident that his friend will bounce back, and that she’s eager to get back to work.
“She is a tough cookie. She is one of the toughest people I know,” he said. “She’s hanging in there with a smile on her face thinking about all the dogs she’s missing right now.”