Prosecutors: Gunshot narrowly misses 10-year-old inside West Ridge home

Juan Gonzalez | CPD

An 18-year-old man narrowly missed shooting his 10-year-old brother while handling a gun in their West Ridge home this week, prosecutors said. Just eight days earlier, the man’s own mother called police to their home because he was shooting a gun then, too, according to prosecutors.

Just before 9 p.m. Wednesday, Juan Gonzalez grabbed a handgun from a closet in his family home on the 6700 block of North Artesian and began playing with it on a couch while his 10-year-old brother played video games at their dining room table, Assistant State’s Attorney Franka D’Antignac said Friday.

Suddenly the 10-year-old heard a loud pop and dove to the floor, D’Antignac. Gonzalez’s uncle and grandmother ran to the living room and found a hole in the ceiling, she said. The uncle allegedly told Gonzalez to clear the gun and put it back in the closet and the 18-year-old complied.

Family members called police to the scene, and officers recovered a loaded 9-millimeter handgun with a defaced serial number from the closet, D’Antignac said. An ammunition canister containing 78 rounds of ammunition and a loaded 45-caliber magazine were also seized, she said.

Gonzalez allegedly admitted to firing the gun and told police he did not know there was a round in the chamber.

Police said Gonzalez was wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet and was carrying $30 worth of crack and a Xanax pill when they arrested him.

Prosecutors charged him with reckless discharge of a firearm, possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number, aggravated assault, and two counts of possession of a controlled substance.

Judge David Navarro set his bail at $100,000 and ordered him held without bail for violating the terms of bond in the case for which he was wearing the electronic monitoring bracelet.

The pending case stems from an incident on January 12. Around 3:45 that morning, police responded to multiple calls of shots fired in the 6700 block of North Artesian, including one from a woman who identified herself as Gonzalez’s mother and said she thought her son was out of control, prosecutors said during a bond hearing the next day.

Other 911 callers said the shooter was a Hispanic man who was wearing an orange sweatshirt, according to the allegations.

Police met with Gonzalez’s mother, who said he had been drinking and taking pills and had a firearm in a closet, prosecutors said.

Officers allegedly recovered a handgun from a storage closet in the family home and found Gonzalez, who was wearing an orange sweatshirt.

Prosecutors said Gonzalez admitted to taking pills and buying Xanax from a guy. Police allegedly found three Xanax pills and nine bullets in his pockets.

But prosecutors did not charge Gonzalez with firing or possessing the firearm.

After hearing the allegations last week, Judge Charles Beach emphasized that prosecutors only charged him with possessing bullets and three Xanax pills.

He released Gonzalez on a recognizance bond, ordered him to stay in the house from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., and required him to wear the electronic monitoring device.

“I do note that a gun was confiscated, but there is no charge for that,” Beach said.

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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 news@cwbchicago.com