Called A “Serious Danger To The Public” By Feds, Chicago Man’s Charged In Lakeview Shooting

A three-time convicted felon who federal prosecutors called “a serious danger to the public” is charged with shooting and critically wounding a Lakeview man during a robbery near Belmont and Racine on August 1. And it’s the second time he’s been charged with shooting someone during a robbery in Chicago!

Burch (Chicago Police Dept)

Lakeview Charges Filed

Prosecutors on Thursday charged Nickolas Burch, 27, with armed robbery, aggravated battery-firearm, and two counts of aggravated battery of a police officer. A judge ordered him to be held without bond.

Burch was on federal parole for a weapons violation when he met the victim through a mutual friend and agreed to buy a couple of watches from the Lakeview man, prosecutors said yesterday.

The victim told police that he ran into Burch on the night of the shooting as he was taking out some garbage. At some point, the victim looked away. When he turned back, Burch was pointing a gun at his face, according to court records.

The gun fired as the 27-year-old victim slapped it away. One bullet passed completely through the victim’s neck and lodged in the rear of a nearby home, police said.

Police inspect a nearby home on the night of the shooting.

While the victim nearly bled out on the pavement, Burch rifled through the man’s pockets, taking his wallet and two watches before running away, prosecutors said.

CWB Chicago reported exclusively on the night of the shooting that the victim was found without a wallet or identification, leading investigators to believe robbery as the motive.

Police say Burch battered two cops who tried to place him in custody during a street stop at the BP gas station, 1600 West Van Buren, on Wednesday morning.

Ironically, the Lakeview shooting happened almost directly behind another BP gas station at 1200 West Belmont.

“A Serious Danger To The Public”

Burch has a long, violent history of robbery, battery, and shootings according to federal court filings reviewed by CWB Chicago.

Burch’s 2011 mugshot

In February 2008, he received a 139 day sentence for punching a Chicago man repeatedly in the head and stealing his phone, federal prosecutors said in a sentencing memorandum.

Two months later, Burch was charged with attempted murder after a man who was standing outside of a bar got beaten, slammed with a trash can lid, shot, and robbed in Chicago. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated battery and received a six-year sentence, the memorandum says.

Then, in May 2011—just two months after being paroled for the shooting—Burch was a passenger in a car that Chicago cops tried to pull over in the Edgewater neighborhood. The driver sped from the cops and Burch bailed out, dropping a handgun while cops chased him down.

Federal prosecutors took the case because Burch had felony convictions and the gun “had traveled in interstate commerce,” according to court records.

Burch faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the Edgewater case. He wound up getting 57 months, a $100 fine, and a lifetime ban on possessing weapons.

“Truly…A Wake Up Call”

Burch’s federal public defender laid out his story in her sentencing memorandum to the court:

[Burch] has a bullet lodged in his chest from a wound that he sustained after being shot in 2007.

His father left shortly after he was born and apart from a brief period from 2005-2006, he has had no contact with his father. 

There was no father figure or positive male model in Mr. Burch’s life for him to look up to, seek advice from, or learn from.

He has three brothers and all of them have been incarcerated at some point in their lives. 

This is the first time that Mr. Burch has been charged with a federal crime and it has truly been a wake up call for him. We can do better than to write Mr. Burch off.

It is clear that steps must be taken to change so that he does not appear before this Court or any in the capacity of a defendant again. 

Yes, indeed.

Burch’s current home address was not immediately available. He lived in a Streeterville high-rise when federal charges were filed against him in 2011.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is