Just Another Senseless Murder in Chicago?

October 20, 2023

By Jim Glennon

Salvador Herrera, 42, clocked out from his bartending shift in Oak Brook, IL at 1:45am on Sunday October 15th and headed for home…

…on the westside of Chicago.

He never made it.

He was shot in the back while driving his car on a residential street. Shot by at least one person in a group of four men who, according to witnesses, were in the process of trying to steal a Hyundai.

One witness reported that Herrera was driving slowly, perhaps causing the miscreant thieves to believe he was trying to identify them. Who knows, because after they shot through the car door, murdering Salvador, they ran.

As of this writing they are still at large.

Who Cares?

Who cares? Why am I writing about another dead guy among the hundreds of dead guys in Chicago? Isn’t he just another statistic to be ignored by those in power? By those who self-righteously claim to care about human life?  I mean as of this writing, on October 19th, according to one publication that tracks Chicago violent crime statistics, year-to-date there have been 518 murders in the city.

What’s one more and what’s so special about this one?

Why should you care enough to even read on?

It’s hard to entice, even if the obvious truth is that behind every stat there is a real person and behind that real person are lives that are irreparably shattered. In some cases, destroyed.

In this case, the real person was someone that several of my family members and relatives knew. Some of them fairly well and for decades.

Salvador worked at the Butterfield Country Club in Oak Brook, Illinois, a suburb approximately 15 miles outside of the city’s limits. Salvador worked there since he was 14 years old.

A few nights ago, I received a text message. A friend of mine, a member of the Country Club, told me about Salvador’s murder. She was stunned.

I have been a guest many times at the Club. There is a good chance I saw Salvador behind the bar once or twice. Not sure.

But my friends on the other hand, are very sure. They were more than aware of Salvador. Aware of how hard he worked and how friendly and giving he was to all he met. Aware of his smile, kind words and considerable efforts as an employee, becoming a friend to many of the Club members and fellow employees alike.

Salvador Herrera, Beyond the Statistic: The Man

Fox 32, a news affiliate in the city, posted a story about Salvador Herrera. I borrow from that.

“Police say officers were called to the 700 block of South Loomis Street and found Herrera slumped over the wheel of his car. Officers noticed his car’s engine was smoking and then realized that Herrera had a gunshot wound to his upper back. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 2:53 a.m.”

The story continues about the person and the people Salvador leaves behind.

  • Herrera got a job at the Country Club at age 14 to support his family after their father died in a work accident.
  • He first worked summers there doing cleanup and stuck with the Country Club for 28 years, eventually becoming a bartender, sister Remedios Herrera said.
  • “He took care of us. He stepped up and supported us when our father died. That was his choice,” his sister said.
  • He even footed college bills for his sisters, they said.
  • He once traveled across the globe to take care of another sister, who had gotten sick while studying abroad in Spain. He brought his mother to Spain, too, and got her an apartment to be closer to her daughter.
  • Herrera also bought a home at an age when the rest of his friends were trying to buy a car. Herrera took care of his mother in that home. He never married or had kids, his family said.
  • “He supported my mom 100% — and me as well,” Marcelina Herrera said.

Salvador Herrera was a caretaker. A true custodian. A family man who spent his life–a life cut short by cowardly murderers–devoted to making sure those he loved were safe and had opportunities to succeed and prosper.

I couldn’t help but wonder, what was he thinking as his life started to fade?

Was he thinking about himself, his sisters, his mother? Who will take care of her now?

Anyone Responsible?

An article was posted the other day by a media outlet called The Center Square titled, Chicago’s homicide rate up; Black residents are 77% of victims.

The point I’m trying to get across here isn’t necessarily focused on race, though it is an aspect of my premise.

Note the startling numbers below:

  • In 2014 Chicago had 380 murders and 1,902 wounded
  • In 2015, 434 murders, 2,169 wounded
  • In 2016, 663 murders, 3,097 wounded
  • In 2019, 450 murders, 1,951 wounded
  • 2020, 680 murders, 2,951 wounded
  • 2021, 733 murders, 3,244 wounded
  • 2022, 619 murders, 2,547 wounded
  • 2023, Chicago is on pace for over the mid 600s again

Note the jump in numbers in 2015 and 2016 and then again in 2020.

Why the jump?

Criminologists, media types, activists, politicians, even some city chiefs appear to do back flips trying to avoid reality, the real reasons violent crime is spiking to early 1990 levels.

Covid is the most laughable, but it’s an easy excuse that eliminates culpability on, well, anyone’s part.

But what is the real reason crime is back to levels we haven’t seen in 30 years in some parts of the country? In some cities? Chicago.

Well, there is no reason. Reason being singular.

Politicians seeking power, biased activists and prejudiced media types always seem to want the answer to be easy, so they manufacture a simple cause.


Gun control.

Structural racism.

Pick one. Doesn’t matter, because none of those are the cause.

I wrote about this before: if gun ownership were the problem, then the problem would be universal. Guns are everywhere. Studies show clearly that gun ownership has nothing to do with an unconscionable number of people committing murder. Former Mayor Lightfoot blamed Indiana and Wisconsin gun laws for the problem in Chicago but the rest of Illinois and even some neighborhoods in the city aren’t experiencing catastrophic homicide rates.

There is no one reason.

There are reasons, plural.

And Salvador Herrera and his family, his forever-grieving family, are victims of them.

So, what are they?

I offer the following. As you will see, they are as obvious as they are forbidden to discuss.

  • Breakdown of the family structure
  • Violent cultures replacing faith-based values
  • Completely absent fathers
  • Proliferation of gangs
  • Rampant drug use
  • Addicted parents
  • The accepted narrative that most criminals are actually victims and real victims are unjustly privileged

What About the Police and the Local Justice Systems?

My articles try to focus on the police so let me do that now by bringing the profession into the problem.

  • The demonization of the police and the police culture by the media, activists and politicians
  • Soft on crime legislative initiatives
  • The focus on equity of outcomes in arrests, indictments, sentencing and incarceration
  • The rejection of proactive policing
  • The end of stop and frisk
  • Mistrust by line level officers of their command structures
  • Prosecutors who refuse to enhance crimes when a firearm is used

That list isn’t to place blame on the police but, as is evident in early retirements, lack of recruitment and flat out quitting the profession, something is amiss!


Ever since the George Floyd incident, the blaming of the entire police profession and the Criminal Justice system as a whole, has became a sport without reason or consequence. Never mind that there are over 18,000 separate law enforcement agencies. Forget that there are approximately 3,200 counties, 50 states, multiple federal jurisdictions that make up what people encapsulate as “The Criminal Justice System.” Say whatever you want with impunity and pretend there will be no negative consequences from such preachy inane rhetoric.

Well, the consequences are evident in the stats and felt in the homes and hearts of people like the family of Salvador Herrera.

Since the onslaught of criticism about law enforcement and the overreaction by some legislative bodies and some prosecutors, violent criminals feel free to roam with guns and mayhem on their minds.

And the black community is taking the brunt of the violence. Where is the collective outrage?

Let me finish with a quick look at Chicago’s stats.

There have been 518 total murders as of this writing on October 20th.

Of those, 490 victims have been identified by race.

Of the 490, 82% of those victims are Black. Blacks in Chicago are approximately 29% of the population.

Of the 490, 68 (14%) people murdered are identified as Hispanic which make up approximately 29% of the city’s population.

White victims? Twenty (0.04%) have been murdered even as roughly 45% of Chicago’s population is considered to be white.

Where is the equity?

And outside of race? 86% of those murdered are male.


Why is there such inequity when it comes to victims of violent crime and why is it not honestly talked about and dealt with in an effort to stop the carnage?

Where is the outrage? When will there be a real discussion?

It is too late for Salvador Herrera. It is too late for his devastated families and friends.

Is it too late in general?

WHAT DO YOU THINK? E-mail your thoughts to us at: editor@calibrepress.com


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  1. SplitHoof

    I believe a large part has to do with policies laid down by leftist politicians who we (through our public safety unions) have helped to entrench for decades. Chasing the all mighty dollar is the carrot, and we have pulled the cart towards it from the start. It has now caught up, and may be too late to turn back. These issues won’t go away over night, but we had better look real hard at who we support in elections. Voting has consequences, as we are seek first hand.

  2. Jason Sproule

    Jim, I had the privilege of attending a Street Survival seminar you ran in 2009, and since then I’ve read several of your articles for Caliber Press, and I have to say, my great respect for you has not waned at all over the years. Once again, you deliver a great article and your points are spot on as usual.

    Just to drive the point home, though not to say it’s the sole cause, Chicago and Illinois as a whole have some of the most draconian and restrictive (not to mention unconstitutional) gun laws anywhere in the USA, and yet they have some of the worst violent crime and murder rates to be found anywhere. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to mention that disarming law abiding citizens certainly appears to make them juicy targets for armed thugs. Perhaps if the criminals of Chicago knew they were likely to be facing deadly force in the form of a gun pointed at them by their intended victim, they might think twice about committing crimes so brazenly. At the very least, it’s undeniable that their anti-gun agenda has completely and utterly failed to curtail crime or make anyone safer, as is the case everywhere and always has been.

    We recently had a high profile murder here in Canada where a man who was literally under the direct “protection” of the RCMP because of known threats against his life, and he was still killed! If the police couldn’t protect Hardeep Singh Nijjar, they can’t protect anyone. This isn’t a slight against the police, it’s just a simple fact that when fractions of a second count, the police are just minutes away.

    I am very deeply concerned for the state of both your country and mine because of the flagrant corruption, incompetence, and probably malevolence of those sitting in the positions of leadership. Honestly, I’m not sure we aren’t already past the point of no return, but if we aren’t, something drastic had better change fast, or we very soon will be.

    Thanks for all you do, and keep safe!

  3. Don Black

    Weak men make hard times. Hard times make hard men. Hard men make good times. Good times make weak men. A cycle. We are in the hard times made by weak men. We have had a long period of weak police leadership who won’t open their mouths or stand up. I don’t know how long that will continue before the reality hits. Psychologists say that a change in behavior is caused by long term dissatisfaction or a significant emotional event. That means that we must wait for everyone to be mugged or wait for long term dissatisfaction with crime and poor police response. The problem will be that when they realize the problem, they won’t even understand what they broke. They won’t have a clue how to fix it and the police politicians will not know either since they have only paid attention to their own careers. In Colorado, a knee jerk police reform bill created a punitive but vague situation for the police. The idea of racial proportionality has permeated everything including the Governor and Attorney General. What you failed to mention is that the people involved in those murders are disproportionately black. Sad truth. We can’t have an honest conversation about that.

    Now, with thousands of good experienced officers leaving, we are trying to fill those positions with young people with a different work ethic who will never know how to do real police work. Community policing and proactive policing are far different than the appeasement that is trotted out by police administrators. I have great concern for where we are going and the environment my grand children will face.

  4. Jerry

    Sad and, so very true, but until the people wake up and say we have had enough of this an take control of the situation, by electing the right people into local, state and federal office, nothing is going to change. it is up to the people, the voting public.

  5. Anonymous

    I am currently a police officer with 25 years of experience. I was previously a high school teacher and athletics coach in the Baltimore City Public School system (1993). Your article is painfully accurate. I would also like to add to your list of reasons why violent crime has spiked to early 1990 levels. The disintegrated education system. And, since 1993, this dynamic has only worsened. Unfortunately, all of the reasons you listed above have collectively had a devastating effect on the educational system. Great leadership is the exception, not the rule. And, with that, why are we shocked that no one has the integrity to do what is right. Thank you for all you do to shine a light on these issues!

  6. Ruben Esquibel, Woodland (CA) PD

    Romans 1:18-32

    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, being understood by what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their reasonings, and their senseless hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and they exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible mankind, of birds, four-footed animals, and crawling creatures.

    24 Therefore God gave them up to vile impurity in the lusts of their hearts, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for falsehood, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

    26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged natural relations for that which is contrary to nature, 27 and likewise the men, too, abandoned natural relations with women and burned in their desire toward one another, males with males committing shameful acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

    28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a depraved mind, to do those things that are not proper, 29 people having been filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, and evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unfeeling, and unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them.

    Read that again if you have to. That is the word of God. Clearly written. Plain as day. The problem is we are under God’s judgement. Everything everyone said above is true but missing the point. Yes, the education system is broken. Yes, there is failed leadership everywhere. Yes there are terrible policies that have been put in place. Yes there are too many broken families and fatherless homes. However, all of those things are a result of us (this whole country – including the Republicans) walking away from and rebelling against God. Which in turn has provoked his judgement. And nothing is going to change until we repent of our rebellion against God.

    I’m fairly certain I’ve always agreed with Jim 100% whenever he writes an article. However, this time I disagree with one thing. There is a singular reason for all of this. Sin. And there is a singular solution. Repentance. But that is also forbidden to discuss.

    So until the King of our modern day Nineveh and all of us Ninevites repent. Don’t expect things to get any better no matter what man made solutions we try to invoke.

    • Larry

      Ruben, I agree with your assessment 100%. I can see the eye rolling taking place and hear the comments about religious fanaticism, but the truth is the truth. Looking back at a country that used to honor God and at least publicly made an effort to do what was right and comparing that to our world today, it’s more than obvious that when a country no longer acknowledges the existence of God, this is what we get. The so-called experts always think they have the answers to what we need to do in order to fix the problems in our country, but none of them ever seem to state the obvious. The problem is sin. The problem is a lack of faith, a lack of obedience to following what God told us centuries ago. Anyone who has taken even a cursory look at world history will see that any society that turns it’s back on God has always fallen apart. Do we really think that the United States is the exception?

      I’m not a preacher or a priest. I’ve been a working cop for the past 36 years and am still on the job. I pray for God’s blessing on this country and for the men and women who every day put on their uniforms and head out into a world that in too many ways, works to destroy them. If you’re on the job and you don’t have God in your corner, consider inviting Him in. Stay safe out there and take care of each other.

      • Jason Sproule

        Amen, brothers! Both you and Rueben. The remedy is clearly laid out in 2 Chronicles 7:14 – ” if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

        Let me leave you with Joshua 1:9 as an encouragement in dark times: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

        Be faithful and courageous to the end.

    • James Glennon

      Rubin, good point, can’t disagree. We blame everyone else, including God, but…are we taking responsibilities for our actions, our inactions, our sins…unfortunately, no.

  7. Judy Lucas

    Unfortunately, I personally know Sal and he was a great guy! As you stated, a hard working family guy and a friend to many.

    What will it take for our city to wake up and say enough of this senseless, out of control crime? It’s already happened to many of our politicians – they mention it in their Ads when they run for office.

    Thanks for writing about Sal and addressing Chicago’s failure to keep its citizens and visitors safe!

  8. Drew Nelson

    Ruben Nailed it! We have become a “Godless” Nation.

  9. Dan Andreas


    I too have been to your Street Survival Seminar. I have been a cop for 25 years and 20 years (retired) Army. We all know what senseless violence looks like, regardless of race, and there are myriad reasons for that senselessness. I agree with Ruben. I am new to my faith, but have already noticed that is has made me a better husband, father and cop. God centered is the only way back.

    I would like to add a ‘reason’ to the list you provided. That reason is communism. Communists took over higher education decades ago and have created generations of communists. They are taking over High School, Middle School and grade school, and school boards, which is what we are seeing today. Communists know how to do one thing and one thing only, DESTROY. BLM, Antifa, Activist judges, Prosecutors, Public defenders/defense attorneys and LGBT, Media, etc. Each one of these groups have their own concentrated part on how they carry out their destruction, but they are all aiming at the same target. That is to destroy the freest nation God ever created. Can anyone show me one thing these groups have done for the betterment of society? I can’t find one.

    The best way back, in my opinion, is with good men and women taking over these institutions at the local level. Remember, all politics are local.

    One final thought. I have had a theory for years. The Law Enforcement Family comprised of the above listed group, add any others you think of, make up a Law Enforcement circle. But where are the cops? In my opinion, the cops are in the middle of the circle fighting all of them, all the time. And to be honest, I am tired. I will however keep fighting the good fight, as I know all of you will as well.

    Thank you, Jim, for your article. I think it needs to be repeated over and over.

    RIP Sandoval

  10. Jenn

    Absolutely there is an inequity when it comes to the big cities and violent crimes. The mouthpieces keep steering the spotlight away from it. So many want to scream the usual buzz-words like “systemic racism,” “colonialist government,” and “imperialism.” The truth is, they are phrases that were brought into popularity by politicians wanting to be re-elected (because it has become profitable).

    No one wants to face the issues that are the true problems. Far too many people have their heads in the sand and are happy to keep doing so – it is proven by them preferring to watch some guy on YouTube stating opinions rather than them reading actual statistics. It is proven by university staff and students creating a project to track police killings, and labeling a person actively shooting at people as a “victim.”
    It has gotten so bad that when you attempt to show someone these statistics in the spirit of wanting to save lives (yes, ALL lives), they either say we are attempting to smokescreen them, or just start screaming – another irrational trend that spans all generations and is mind boggling.

    We need to keep pushing forward despite their screaming. This is why we are the guardians – because we will protect and help even when it’s not “cool.”

  11. Paul Neddo

    It comes down to an agenda- Marxism at work in our society. The idea of inspiring large-scale economic class upheaval (think the “production owners” vs the “working” class) failed because the U.S has mobility in its socio-economic classes and an ever expanding middle-class. So, the Marxists decided to try race-based revolution; they replaced socio-economic classes with racial ones. The underlying ideology remains intact: divide people between oppressor and oppressed and convince a majority they are victims – victimhood fuels the revolution. And make no mistake – those who have commented it is a quest for money by those in power are missing the point: it is a passionate ideological agenda, a quest for revolution and ultimately power.
    As Jim so accurately points out, the very people the Marxists (or social justice warriors in today’s terms), aim to help actually get harmed. By absolving a large portion of the population of responsibility and any accountability by dubbing them “victims”, we not only remove their dignity but embolden their anti-social behaviors; they then continue to victimize others including those in the supposed victim class. By pointing to “systems” and structures” and classes we no longer deal in personal responsibility for one’s actions, but in group guilt.
    The truth is we ALL have the propensity to do wrong, to be evil, and as a corollary to do right, to find redemption. Once we lose track of that it all unravels. As Alexander Solzhenitsyn (a true victim of Totalitarianism) so aptly said: “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts.”
    Evil people must be held accountable, evil ideas must be opposed. For there are real victims, such as Salvador Herrera.


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