CICERO – It was both fitting and ironic that Monday's press conference to kickoff Cicero's CeaseFire Week focused long on the murder of a Cicero restaurant owner and the the quick arrest of the man who killed him.
Town and state officials lauded the Cicero Police Department for the intensive investigation that led to the arrest of Matthew A. Turner-Brown, the 25-year-old Chicago man charged with murdering Albano's Restaurant owner Giovanni Donancricchia on June 20. Turner-Brown was arrested in Chicago less than 36 hours after he shot Donncriccia in the chest during an attempted robbery at his Roosevelt Road restaurant, police said.
Police Superintendent Bernard Harrison praised the investigators who swiftly tracked Turner-Brown down and arrested him. Harrison added that the ultimate goal of CeaseFire and the community event was to make children unafraid to walk down the street.
Deputy Superintendent Jose Gonzalez, who led the investigation, said Donancricchia's death was not only a loss for the victim's family, but the community as a whole.
State Rep. Martin Sandoval reminded the crowd that Cicero's crime-fighting efforts and Zero tolerance for gangs have put it in the top 20 safest communites in the state, Sandoval said, according to statistics.
"Cicero is synonymous with safe cities," Sandoval said. "It's a model and serves as an example..."
Among the crowd were scores of parents and children wearing CeaseFire T-shirts to celebrate the annual event aimed at steering youth from the gang life to a real life.
A host of activities are planned throughout the week.