CHICAGO --A Chicago singer who appeared on the Mexican version of "The Voice" in 2011 has died after he was shot in an ambush while celebrating his birthday with friends.
Alejandro Jano Fuentes, 45, died Saturday afternoon, two days after he was shot in the Brighton Park neighborhood on the Southwest Side of Chicago.
A vigil was held Saturday night in his honor. The friends and family in attendance said they pray for a man whose voice and heart not only touched people in Chicago but also in Mexico.
Fuentes was shot in the head several times in the 4300 block of South Archer.
The attack happened late Thursday around 10:15 p.m. Friends said they were celebrating the 45-year-old's birthday at his Tras Bambalinas School.
"He came here, he tried to get a job like anybody else. Now he has to go back to Mexico in a coffin," Javier Rojas, a friend, said.
Investigators have said the shooting was the result of a botched robbery or carjacking. But his friends believe Fuentes was targeted.
"They really wanted to get him. They shot him three times, not just one time," Rojas said.
Witnesses say it was after Fuentes and some friends got into his car that a man suddenly appeared and ordered him out of it.
Fuentes refused a couple of times, but when the attacker showed a gun, in an attempt to protect his friends, Fuentes got out and that's when he was shot in the head three times.
"It's so difficult. We love Jano. Everyone who knows him. We love him and everybody is concerned about it," said Anacelly Nava, Fuentes' friend.
Although some of the victim's friends say they believe he was targeted because nothing was taken, police continue to investigate.
"You can see inside a waiting room full of people who want to see him. He's a beautiful person, he's a loving person, and hopefully he stays with us," said Nava.
Fuentes appeared on the Mexican version of a popular singing competition in 2011. Friends say despite his successes, he remained committed to exposing young people, especially neighborhood kids to the arts.
"Instead of taking the light, he was putting the light on all those guys. So this is a big loss and I don't think there's anyone who can take his place," Miguel Sanchez, a friend of Fuentes, said.
"We want justice. Everybody over here altogether, we want justice," Pastor Angel Garcia said.
Some of his music students were at the vigil to honor their teacher.
"He believed in me and he believed in everyone else. He didn't deserve this," Mithzy Ramierez, a student, said.
A makeshift memorial stands where Fuentes was shot. A place where he shared his talents with the next generation of performers.
Police say no one is in custody.
The Chicago Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.