AURORA – An Aurora man has been charged with attempted murder following a shooting Wednesday near the Fox Valley Mall in Aurora.
The Aurora Police Department is continuing to investigate the circumstances of an incident involving suspects wanted in a shooting Wednesday afternoon. Their vehicle, which led officers on a pursuit, eventually crashed into multiple vehicles near the Fox Valley Mall.
Erik Esparza, 24, of Aurora, who was believed to have been the driver of the offending vehicle, was transported by Aurora Fire Department paramedics to Good Samaritan hospital where he succumbed to his injuries Wednesday evening, according to a news release from the Aurora Police Department. The DuPage County Coroner’s Office performed an autopsy on Thursday.
In addition, a passenger inside the vehicle, Adrien Betsinger, 23, of the 500 block of Woodlawn Avenue in Aurora, was charged in connection to Wednesday’s shooting that occurred in the 600 block of South Broadway, the release stated. Betsinger has been charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated discharge as well as being a felon possession a firearm while on parole.
At 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, officers were responding to call of shots fired in the 600 block of South Broadway Avenue. While they were responding to the scene, a description of the suspected vehicle involved in the shooting was relayed over the radio and the vehicle, a grey Chevrolet Monte Carlo, was spotted by an officer, the release stated.
The vehicle also matched the description of a vehicle wanted in connection to an aggravated discharge of a firearm incident on Tuesday night in the 400 block of South State Street, according to the release. With the knowledge that the offenders in the suspected vehicle were potentially involved in two shooting incidents in less than 24 hours, Aurora Police Department patrol supervisors believed that the offenders in the vehicle posed a great risk to the community at large and allowed officers to continue to pursue, the release stated.
A patrol supervisor was monitoring the radio during the pursuit and continuously reviewing the incoming information to determine whether the pursuit should be continued or terminated. During the pursuit, the driver of the offending vehicle was observed driving at a high rate of speed into on-coming traffic along East New York Street.
As the offending vehicle was approaching busy Route 59, officers terminated the pursuit, turned off their emergency lights and sirens and slowed their patrol vehicles, the release stated. Shortly thereafter, the suspects’ vehicle was involved in a crash near the Fox Valley Mall.
Two illegal guns were also located inside the vehicle by investigators.