The family of a murdered gay Chicago man is outraged after his killer claimed self-defense and was released from custody without being charged.
Kenneth Paterimos, a 23-year-old barista, was stabbed to death with a box-cutter following an altercation last Friday night at Richard’s Bar on the city’s west side.
Family members allege Paterimos’ killer yelled a homophobic slur prior to the stabbing, and police say witnesses confirmed that, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. However, authorities released the 30-year-old suspect on Sunday without charging him after he claimed the 127-pound Paterimos beat him up.
“I don’t believe for one second this guy [thought he] was ever in danger,” Paterimos’ brother, Santiago “Julian” Bueno, told BlockClubChicago.org.
“This isn’t a story about self defense,” Bueno said. “This is a story about someone who knew what they were doing … found his victim to bully … and then tried to walk off like nothing happened.”
Bueno, a professional MMA fighter who was with Paterimos at Richard’s Bar, tackled the intoxicated suspect and held him down when he tried to flee after stabbing the victim eight times in the head, chest, arm, collarbone and ear.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office ruled Paterimos’ death a homicide, and police recovered the murder weapon.
Paterimos’ killer was hospitalized after suffering extensive injuries, but Bueno said they occurred when he pinned the man down and beat him while waiting for police. Bueno said the suspect, a 220-pound military veteran, also tried to stab him.
Authorities say although the suspect was released, their investigation is continuing, and charges are still possible.
“Words cannot express the tragic nightmare I have been living the last two days,” Paterimos’ mother, Diona Bueno, wrote on the GoFundMe page. “He was a hard worker, always helping someone. The bright light of my family, the one who ties us together, is gone.”
Watch a report from NBC 5 below.