Live By The Gun, Die By The Gun: Home Invader Shot Dead In Lincoln Square Had Long, Violent Criminal Record

Luis A Morales | Chicago Police Dept

The would-be home invader who was shot dead by his accomplice on a Lincoln Square family’s front porch last night had a long, violent criminal history, CWBChicago has learned. His criminal record includes multiple prison stints for firearms violations and burglary.

Luis “Spanky” Morales, 43, was pronounced dead at the scene of the failed home invasion at 2424 West Eastwood shortly after 10 p.m. last night. The cohort who opened fire and accidentally shot Morales in the head remains at large.

Morales was a long-time and active member of the Latin Kings street gang, according to police and court records. Since 1994, he managed to rack up 69 different cases in Cook County criminal courts. His most recent prison stint—one year for aggravated DUI—wrapped up when his parole ended on December 15.

In the past 23 years, he had been sentenced to 31 years of prison time, although he was always released early for good behavior behind bars. His first trip to prison was in 1995. After failing to fulfill the terms of his probation for defacing a firearm, a judge ordered him to be sent away for two years. Among his other sentences, according to court records:

• Three years for unlawful use of a weapon by a felon in 1995
• Three years for receiving-possessing a stolen motor vehicle in 1995
• Three years for illegal carrying of a firearm in 1995
• Another three years for illegal carrying of a firearm in 1995
• Another two years for narcotics in 1995
• Three years for being a felon in possession of a weapon in 1998
• Five years for narcotics in 2000
• Five years for possessing burglary tools in 2005
• Six years for receiving-possessing a stolen motor vehicle in 2007
• One year for aggravated DUI in 2016

Investigators work the scene after Morales was shot dead in Lincoln Square on Tuesday. | Christopher Smith

Morales also had the great fortune of being found not guilty of major felonies in two separate Cook County bench trials.

In 2002, now-retired Judge James Epstein found Morales not guilty of receiving-possessing a stolen motor vehicle.

In 2013, Judge Diane Cannon found Morales not guilty of being an armed habitual criminal, being a felon in possession of a weapon, and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in a vehicle.

Before his DUI conviction, Morales’ most recent arrest was for trespassing at a Humboldt Park housing project with two other Latin Kings in 2015. All charges were dismissed.

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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