Prosecutors have filed felony gun charges against a Chicago man who was allegedly seen carrying a loaded handgun in the Loop shortly after a man was shot nearby on Sunday. The accused man is not charged with the actual shooting.
A 911 caller reported seeing a man wearing a Bulls jersey pull out a black handgun, display it, and then put it back in his waistband around 1:45 a.m. Sunday near the LondonHouse Hotel, 85 East Wacker, according to police and prosecutors.
The call came just a few minutes after a 31-year-old man was shot while sitting in a car near Wacker Drive and Columbus Drive, about three blocks away.
Officers who responded to the LondonHouse found 29-year-old Ronnie Christmas wearing a Bulls shirt nearby. Cops performed a pat-down search and found a loaded 40-caliber handgun with an extended ammunition magazine in Christmas’ waistband, prosecutors said.
Defense attorney Kevin Sterk said Christmas, who owns a lawn care business, was at the LondonHouse hotel to meet with two small business owners.
Christmas was free on bail while awaiting trial for an identity theft case at the time of the alleged gun incident, prosecutors said. He also faced a felony gun charged in 2011, but that case was later pleaded down to a misdemeanor, according to the state.
Judge Charles Beach ordered Christmas held without bail for violating the terms of his previous bail bond. Beach also ordered him held in lieu of $40,000 bail on the new unlawful use of a weapon charge. Christmas is required to go onto electronic monitoring if he can post a $4,000 deposit bond, Beach said.
Police department sources have pointed to hotel parties and all-night street celebrations along Wacker Drive for a recent spike in shootings around the downtown area.