Unique Banks

Unique Banks publicly provided by facebook. Graphically enhanced for artistic purposes by author.
Preferred NameUnique BanksCityChicago
Other Names UsedStateIL
Age21Gender IdentityTranswoman
RaceLatinoDate of Death01/23/2023
Click to See Legal Name

Jael Burgos

Crime Category: Mass Shooting/Robbery | Weapon Used: Gun

On January 23rd, 2023, two men broke into an apartment demanding money and shot the five people present, killing Unique and her mother. Three of the victims were transgender. The case is still unsolved.

Report: “Banks and her mother were pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting in the 2900 block of East 78th Street Monday afternoon, police have said. Three other people were taken in critical condition to University of Chicago Medical Center, according to fire officials.

One of the victims drove half a mile to a McDonald’s, where police and paramedics were called. The person had been grazed in the neck and shot in the back and arm, police at the scene said.

“What I can say specifically is it does not appear to be a random act,”

Report: “The mother [of one of the victims] told FOX 32 that her son, who identifies as a woman, was shot seven times — four times in the upper body, twice in the face and once near the eardrum.

The gunmen fled and left the victims behind.

“They all played dead for their own benefit because they were shooting all crazy,” the victim’s mother said, adding her child ran to get help, driving to a nearby McDonald’s. “He saw they didn’t come back, so he ran for his life. And then he said when he jumped into his car, he thinks he saw the gunman by the bus stop standing there and just stare at him.”

Report: “Police sources telling CBS 2 that two people, described as teens wearing ski masks, one wearing camo, kicked in an apartment door and demanded money before opening fire. 

In addition to Olmo and Burgos, three others were also shot – and those who survived were all reported in critical condition at UChicago Medical Center.

“I say targeted because I don’t want the public to feel that this is just a random act of violence,” Loughran said. “We’re investigating any relationship between any victims and offenders at this time, but it is very, very preliminary.”

Report: “Loughran declined to comment further on the shooters’ motives, saying only that they were “unique to the crime itself.”

A suspect was arrested, but then released after insufficient evidence was found to charge him.

Report: “Late on Jan. 26, three days after the mass shooting, Chicago police executed a warrant at the same apartment complex in the 2900 block of East 78th Street where the 19-year-old suspect also lives,

He had been identified in photo lineups as the person who forced his way into the apartment, demanded cash and shot the five victims, according to the report. He was arrested but ultimately released from custody on Jan. 29. The Sun-Times isn’t identifying the suspect because he hasn’t been charged with a crime.

The arrest report shows felony charges weren’t brought by prosecutors and the case was marked as a continuing investigation. It was kicked back to police “pending further investigation.”

“After a review of the initial information brought to us by CPD, we informed police that additional evidence was needed before a final charging decision could be made,” the spokesperson said.”

The suspect has two pending cases in Cook County court, a felony count of residential burglary and a misdemeanor count of domestic battery, records show.”

The investigation is still ongoing, although no updates have been provided since the story was reported.

Location: 2900 block of East 78th Street, Chicago, IL, at about 1:45 p.m.

Personal Information:

HRC: “Unique’s brother also remembered her on social media, writing, “I miss you so much pookiana. I need everybody to know I ain’t doing this so y’all know who passed I’m doing this because this is my best friend… it’s hurts that’s your not here and I can’t hear your voice but you will forever be in my heart and by my side pookkie I love you bae forever UNTIL I SEE YOU AGAIN.”

Last Public Update: 02/08/2023

Unique Banks publicly provided by facebook. Graphically enhanced for artistic purposes by author.

News Timeline: 01/23/2023 | 01/24/2023 | 01/26/2023 | 02/08/2023

Camarillo, E., Sherry, S., & Schuba, T. (2023, January 23). Gunmen kill 2, wound 3 in ‘targeted home invasion’ in South Shore neighborhood – Unique Banks. Chicago Sun Times. https://chicago.suntimes.com/2023/1/23/23568125/2-killed-2-injured-in-south-shore-shooting

Lhant, V. (2023, January 26). Remembering Unique Banks, Latina Transgender Woman Killed in Chicago, Illinois. Human Rights Campaign. https://www.hrc.org/news/remembering-unique-banks-latina-transgender-woman-killed-in-chicago-illinois

Matthews, E. (2023, January 24). Mother of Chicago mass shooting victim speaks out, believes attack was hate crime: “they all played dead” – Unique Banks. FOX 32. https://www.fox32chicago.com/news/mother-of-mass-shooting-victim-speaks-out-believes-attack-was-hate-crime

Molina, T. (2023, January 24). Mother, adult daughter identified as victims killed in South Shore mass shooting – Unique Banks. ABC News 2. https://www.cbsnews.com/chicago/news/mother-adult-daughter-south-shore-mass-shooting/

Riedel, S. (2023, January 26). Chicago Trans Woman Unique Banks Killed in Alleged Anti-Trans Mass Shooting. Them. https://www.them.us/story/unique-banks-killed-chicago-mass-shooting

Ring, T. (2023, January 27). Latinx Trans Woman Unique Banks Killed in Chicago Home Invasion. Advocate. https://www.advocate.com/crime/latinx-trans-woman-killed-chicago

Schuba, T. (2023a, January 24). ‘Nobody just goes to your house and starts killing people.’ Father struggles to understand attack that killed daughter and her mother – Unique Banks. Chicago Sun Times. https://chicago.suntimes.com/2023/1/24/23570185/southshore-mass-shooting-unique-banks-alexsandra-olmo-dead-gun-violence

Schuba, T. (2023b, February 8). Prosecutors decline to charge teen arrested in mass shooting at South Shore apartment – Unique Banks. Chicago Sun-Times. https://chicago.suntimes.com/crime/2023/2/7/23590217/prosecutors-decline-to-charge-teen-arrested-in-mass-shooting-at-south-shore-apartment

Sun-Times Media Wire. (2023, January 24). Father struggles to understand attack that killed daughter and her mother in South Shore – Unique Banks. FOX 32. https://www.fox32chicago.com/news/father-struggles-to-understand-attack-that-killed-daughter-and-her-mother-in-south-shore

Images are publicly available through public sources, personal posts, family members and information websites as well as stills from cited videos and news websites. Images are digitally enhanced for artistic purposes. All information is accurate to the best of the author’s knowledge at time of publishing. Updates will be made as needed.