A Chicago singer who appeared on the Mexican version 'The Voice' in 2011 has died after he was shot in an ambush while celebrating his birthday with friends, officials said Saturday.
The Cook County Medical Examiner's office confirmed that 45-year-old Alejandro "Jano" Fuentes died on Saturday. He was shot three times in the head late Thursday outside his Tras Bambalinas School on Chicago's southwest side.
The shooting happened just after 10 p.m. Thursday in the 4300 block of South Archer in the city’s Brighton Park neighborhood.
Police said Fuentes was in a vehicle with a passenger when a man with a gun walked up and ordered him out of the car. When Fuentes resisted, the gunman shot him several times in the head, critically wounding him.
Fuentes was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital and the gunman fled on foot before getting into a car a short distance away.
Friends of Fuentes say he and his assistant were leaving Tras Bambalinas, an academy for young performers owned by Fuentes, to celebrate his 45th birthday.
"We are feeling confused and we have no explanation why all these things are happening,” said close friend Miguel Sanchez, whose two children attend Fuentes’ academy. “We are very sad because it's something you don't expect to happen to your close friends."
According to those who know him, Fuentes moved to Chicago three years ago to take part in a play. He liked the city so much he decided to stay and open his studio. Video posted by the studio earlier that day shows a group inside singing him Happy Birthday.
Fuentes was a top 10 finalist in Mexico’s version of “The Voice,” called “La Voz,” in 2011.
“He loved to help everyone, it didn't matter who it was,” said Alejandra Arellano, who works at a bakery next to Fuentes’ studio. “We're sad. We're concerned and also because of the violence."
Police have released few details about what may have prompted the shooting. But some believe the shooting was not a random act of violence.
"It wasn't random,” Sanchez said. “This guy, they were waiting for him. They were waiting for him to come out of the school.”
The Associate Press contributed to this story.