A Chicago man was charged Saturday with the attempted murder of an off-duty police officer just after noon New Year’s Day on the West Side. The alleged murder attempt unfolded just two weeks after a judge released the accused man on “affordable bail” for being a felon in possession of a firearm and resisting police.
Jermaine Morris, 34, is also a “person of interest” in yet another shooting, according to a CPD statement. Detectives are currently seeking charges in that case, police said.
The police department released few details about the attempted murder case, except to say the off-duty officer shot Morris during an incident in which two other persons were also arrested on the 1200 block of South Kedvale. ABC7 and other outlets reported the men were trying to carjack the off-duty cop. The Sun Times reported that the other two people were released without being charged.
Morris was treated at Mt. Sinai Hospital and has been released.
Back on December 17, Judge David Navarro allowed Morris to go home by posting a $3,000 bond after prosecutors accused the five-time felon of possessing a firearm and resisting arrest.
Around 6:30 p.m. on December 15, police were dispatched to a call of a person with a gun near the 1200 block of South Keeler — one block over from where the New Year’s Day shooting would later occur.
The 911 caller identified Morris by name as the person who had the gun and described the car he was in, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Jocelyn Schieve. Police, who were familiar with Morris, spotted him behind the wheel of his car minutes later, Schieve said.
As cops pulled Morris over, he allegedly reached toward the floorboard and then got out of the car and ran.
Police said they saw Morris remove a handgun from his jacket pocket as he sprinted away. They ordered him to stop and drop the gun, but he kept running and eventually threw the weapon, Schieve said.
Officers caught him and then recovered the loaded gun that he allegedly ditched. Schieve said Morris admitted to carrying the handgun for his own protection.
During Morris’ bond court appearance, Schieve told Navarro that prosecutors planned to upgrade the primary charge against him from unlawful use of a weapon by a felon to Class X armed habitual criminal. She also noted that he has five felony convictions, including one for escape from electronic monitoring.
Navarro set Morris’ bail at $30,000, which requires a $3,000 bond payment to secure release from jail. Morris posted it and went home.
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