How social media posts helped lead to brothers' arrests in Streamwood slaying
Two Hoffman Estates men, described by prosecutors as street gang members and siblings, were ordered held without bail Wednesday in connection with a fatal 2021 shooting in Streamwood.
Antonio Rivera-Abriz, 23, and Oliver A. Audinette, 20, are charged with first-degree murder following an investigation spanning more than a year into the death of 21-year-old Gabriel Herrera of Roselle.
Herrera was sitting in the driver's seat of a silver Chevrolet Trailblazer with three others when the shooting occurred about 5:30 p.m. Dec. 14, 2021, on the 1000 block of Vine Street, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors say Herrera suffered a gunshot wound to the head. A male passenger suffered an injury to his hand and a woman sitting in the back seat was shot in the midsection, according to prosecutors. Another occupant was not injured.
Video surveillance showed a compact sedan pull up behind the Trailblazer, which was parked in the vicinity of Vine Street and Wicker Avenue, prosecutors said. Two people exited the sedan and approached the Trailblazer, at which point "a series of 'pops' is heard," said Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Robert Mack.
After that, the Trailblazer drove away and crashed into a nearby tree, Mack said.
During the investigation, police learned the Trailblazer occupant who received a hand injury had arranged to sell cannabis vape cartridges to someone he met on social media. That buyer's username matched the account of Rivera-Abriz, who Mack described as a known gang member.
Police later found a dark-colored Toyota Carolla matching the description of the sedan from the video, said Mack. Fingerprints inside the car matched Rivera-Abriz, and a fingerprint on a can and DNA from a bottle inside the vehicle matched Audinette, he added.
Police also learned Audinette and a family member purchased the vehicle around Sept. 13, 2021, he said.
On Audinette's cellphone, police found a conversation from Dec. 12, 2021, during which "he admits possession of an FNP90 (gun) with a red dot sight attached to the firearm both through conversation and sending a photo of the firearm to the other participant in the conversation," Mack said.
A photo from that same day shows Audinette holding the firearm, which according to prosecutors fires distinctive rounds of the same caliber as the 11 fired cartridge cases found at the scene. A limited number of weapons fire that caliber of ammunition, Mack said.
A FN P90 is described on its manufacturer's website as a submachine gun.
A search of Rivera-Abriz's social media account showed a photograph of a Daily Herald article about the shooting and a social media account photograph of Herrera, which authorities said another user sent to Rivera-Abriz.
Audinette's social media included a photograph of him holding a FN P90 similar to the photo found on his cellphone, prosecutors said. That search also revealed Audinette's posts after the shooting, which stated he was on Vine Street and "jumped out on rival gang members with rifles and shot three people, leaving one dead," Mack said.
Police also recovered social media conversations in which they say Audinette attempted to sell the weapon and made statements about the shooting, prosecutors said.
According to Mack, analysis of Audinette's cellphone activity between 5 and 6 p.m. on Dec. 14, 2021 showed him traveling from Rivera Abriz's home to the shooting location on Vine Street to the place where police recovered his Toyota Carolla.
Police arrested Rivera-Abriz and Audinette on April 1, 2022, on felony offenses related to a vehicle they were driving, Mack said.
Rivera-Abriz reportedly told police that he, Audinette and an uncharged co-offender were on Vine Street on the day of the shooting and had discussed "doing a lick," said Mack, who described that as slang for robbery. Rivera-Abriz also said the uncharged co-offender had the FNP90 during the shooting, Mack said.
Rivera-Abriz and Audinette are scheduled to return to court March 17.