HAMMOND — An alleged Latin Counts street gang member was charged Thursday with murder in connection with the 2015 shooting of a Hammond teen and a second individual.
Ivan Reyes, 30, of Calumet City, was charged with two counts of murder in connection with the shooting deaths of Lauren Calvillo, 16, of Hammond, and Christopher White on June 29, 2015, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Indiana.
Caught in the crosshairs of feuding gangs outside her home in June 2015, Calvillo was struck down by a stray bullet while protecting other children on her front porch in the 5500 block of Beall Street. She later died at Franciscan Health Hammond hospital.
White was shot as gunfire erupted that day, charging documents show. At the time, about 20 people gathered around a memorial for Robert Vilella, 23, of Hammond, who was fatally shot in the same neighborhood just days earlier. Several of the attendees were Latin King gang members, court documents state.
The announcement of murder charges against Reyes comes on the heels of the U.S. Attorney's office filing drug and racketeering charges against the Latin Counts street gang in Hammond — with the promise prosecutors would soon be able to tie the gang to Calvillo's murder.
Since Calvillo’s shooting on June 29, 2015, her mother, Ollie Hubbard, has been at the forefront of countless anti-violence rallies and has raised money for scholarships in her daughter’s name.
The complaint against Reyes alleges that the shooting was the result of "an ongoing gang conflict between the Latin Counts and Latin Kings in Hammond" and to further a conspiracy to distribute marijuana and cocaine by the Latin Counts, the release stated.
"The murders of Lauren Calvillo and Christopher White were heinous acts of senseless gang violence. Due to a relentless investigation conducted with our law enforcement partners, I am pleased that we are able to bring charges in this case at this time," U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch II said in a release. "Our investigation is ongoing and will not end until all responsible for these terrible acts are brought to justice.”
Several of the Region’s local chapters of violent street gangs — including Latin Dragons, Latin Kings, Imperial Gangsters and Two Six Nation — have been indicted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in recent years and tied to “dozens of homicides," Kirsch said this week.
On Wednesday night at a public event, Hammond Police Chief John Doughty commended local and federal investigators for the break they recently made in the unsolved murder of Calvillo.
Doughty added Hammond police and federal partners "never gave up on the case," saying the shooting and gang feuds had left the neighborhood shaken.