“He had a big old smile that never stopped”

LOGAN SQUARE – Giovanni Lozano planned to celebrate Christmas like every other year with his family at his grandmother’s house.

But Lozano didn’t make it to the celebration: the 24-year-old was killed in a shooting in Avondale when his family gathered a few miles away.

Instead of opening presents, Lozano’s grieving family spent the evening with detectives and morgue technicians. Now they are raising money to cover Lozano’s funeral. An online fundraiser to help his immediate family had raised approximately $ 3,200 for the $ 20,000 goal on Thursday morning.

“He will always be with us. He will always be the smile we think of. He will always be with us at Christmas, ”said Lozano’s aunt Ana Nunez.

At around 10:40 p.m., officers found Lozano with a gunshot wound to the head on the 3000 block of North Avers Avenue, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A police spokesman could not provide any further information about the shootings, it is only being investigated.

Nunez said Lozano was expected at his grandmother’s house in West Humboldt Park that evening for a family Christmas party, but he never came. He lived with his mother a few blocks from where he was killed, Nunez said.

Nunez and other family members described Lozano as a family man who “would do anything” for his two siblings and his 4-year-old daughter.

Lozano’s only passion in life was cars, his family said. When he wasn’t just working part-time – most recently in a tire store and an Office Depot warehouse – he repaired cars and raced them. He is a member of some local auto clubs, said Nunez.

“He wanted to work on cars, that’s it. That was his whole world, ”she said. “He had ADD as a kid, so taking things apart and putting things together gave him the confidence to deal with ADD. So basically that’s what saved him. “

Credit: Provided
Giovanni Lozano with his daughter. Lozano was killed in a shooting in Avondale last weekend.

Lozano, a second-generation Mexican American, also enjoyed listening to Mexican music, including new hits and older, local music that his grandfather played for him, Nunez said. His family moved to the United States from Jalisco, Mexico, in the 1970s and settled in the Logan Square area, she said.

Family and friends affectionately call Lozano “Gio” or “Oso”, which means “bear” in Spanish.

“He was tall and his hair was curly. … When he worked at night, he had these circles under his eyes, so he was a panda. He was Oso, ”said Nunez.

Nunez said she didn’t know why anyone wanted to kill her nephew, a young father with “a big old smile that never stopped”. Although Lozano “had his problems” growing up, he got his priorities clear as he got older and focused only on his family and his cars, she said.

“This incident came out of the blue. We have no idea why. It’s awful, “she said.

After the fatal shooting, family and friends erected two altars in honor of Lozano with candles, balloons and other artifacts – one in Lozano’s house and the other in the place where he was killed, Nunez said. Lozano is one of around 800 deaths in Chicago in 2021, the most violent year in two and a half decades.

“He should never have gone out like this. … He was loved by so many and he is missed very much, “said Nunez.

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