Prosecutors on Wednesday charged a Little Village man with murder for his alleged role in the slaying of a man he perceived to be a rival gang member over the weekend. At the time of the killing, Xavier Encarnacion was out of jail on an affordable bail bond for his third gun case.
Encarnacion is the fourth person charged with murder or shooting someone in Chicago this year while on affordable bail for a serious felony.
Encarnacion, 28, David Chavez, age 29, and two other Satan Disciples gang members who remain at large crossed into rival Latin King gang territory around 7:50 a.m. Sunday and approached 34-year-old David Lopez behind his home in the 2800 block of West 23rd Street, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.
The entire murder was captured on surveillance video with audio, according to Murphy.
Lopez did not know the four men as they approached and started speaking with him through a wrought iron fence.
Murphy said Encarnacion pretended to be a Latin King by throwing up that gang’s hand signs and asking Lopez, “What’s up, my king? Everything good, king?”
According to Murphy, Lopez can be seen nodding and saying, “cool,” but he declines to exchange a Latin King gang handshake.
The following video, which ends a split-second before the trigger is pulled, shows what happened next. Prosecutors say Encarnacion is the man on the left. The full, unedited video is available here.
Surveillance video shows one of the still-at-large suspects turning away from Lopez to pull out a handgun as Encarnacion reaches through the fence and shoves Lopez in his face, Murphy alleged.
Within seconds, the man with the gun extends his weapon through the rails of the fence and shoots Lopez directly in his face. Lopez falls to the ground. The gunman then fires ten more shots into Lopez’s body and runs away. Lopez died at the scene with nine gunshot wounds.
Ten minutes before the men approached Lopez, CPD surveillance cameras recorded them standing in nearby Satan Disciple’s territory. The gunman who later killed Lopez is seen holding a handgun in the footage, Murphy said.
While neither Encarnacion nor Chavez is accused of pulling the trigger, they both knew the shooter had a gun and they walked together into rival gang territory where Encarnacion “false flagged” and made the first physical contact with the victim, Murphy said.
As a result, they are both charged with first degree murder.
Defense attorneys for the men argued that neither of them shot Lopez and suggested they didn’t know that the gunman would kill him.
Back CWB’s reporting team and we’ll reward you with members-only reports and services all year long. Join HERE for just $49 a year.
After hearing from both sides, Judge Charles Beach said he believed the men had “a plan to move forward” as they walked into Latin King territory. They knew the killer had a gun and Chavez initiated contact with Lopez, Beach recalled. The judge said Encarnacion is accused of “the first act of violence in this case.”
He then ordered both men held without bail.
On May 24, Encarnacion was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Judge David Navarro set his bail at $10,000, meaning Encarnacion posted only $1,000 to get out of jail.
Encarnacion was also charged on January 13 with failing to comply with the violent gun offender registry. He went home on a recognizance bond in that case.
Murphy said Encarnacion received a four-year sentence for attempted unlawful use of a weapon by a felon in 2018 and three years for unlawful use of a weapon by a gang member in 2014.
Chavez was on bail for two misdemeanors and on parole for possession of a stolen motor vehicle at the time of the murder. It was his third prison sentence for stolen motor vehicle cases.
Previous reports of shootings and murders while on bail
- At least 32 people charged with murder in Chicago last year were free on bail at the time of the killings (January 4, 2021)
- We find another man accused of committing murder while on affordable bail in 2020 (January 9, 2021)
- #1: 16-year-old charged with shooting man during robbery while awaiting trial for felony (January 12, 2021)
- #2: Man fatally shot girlfriend while on electronic monitoring for November gun case, prosecutors say
- #3: On bail for 3 separate felony cases, “fanged” man now charged with killing 12-year-old in DUI crash