For the second time in about two weeks, Chicago police officers searched Grant Park early Wednesday after cops heard the sound of gunfire in the area. No one was reportedly injured, but more than one police unit heard the shots.
Things were a little different in the previous “shots fired” incident.
Around 12:48 a.m. on March 9, police actually found a man who allegedly admitted to firing his gun in the park just before officers arrived. But he is licensed to carry a firearm, and Cook County prosecutors refused to charge him with anything more serious than being a concealed carry holder with a gun in a park, CPD records show.
Several people called 911 to report the March 9 gunfire and a CPD sergeant also heard at least one shot near 800 South Michigan, the records show. Officers saw a man walking in the park about two blocks away and stopped him because he was in Grant Park after the 11 p.m. closing time.
In an arrest report, police identified the man as 32-year-old Walter Major of south suburban Harvey, a concealed carry license holder.
Major allegedly told officers he accidentally fired the gun nearby. Then, he admitted that he fired more than once and took officers to a second location where he also shot the gun, police said in his arrest report.
Cops found one spent shell casing near where they stopped Major, and two more spent shell casings at the second location, police alleged. The headstamps on the three recovered shell casings match the headstamps on four live 9-millimeter bullets that police found in Major’s pants pocket, officers said.
According to the arrest report, Major was carrying an unloaded 9-millimeter handgun in his waistband when police stopped him.
Police tried to get felony charges filed against Major for firing the handgun, but a prosecutor in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office refused to approve them, officers said.
Instead, Major was charged with misdemeanor concealed carry of a firearm in a park facility. He was released from the station on a recognizance bond.
Editor’s note: Chicago police were unable to provide a mug shot for Major.
Update November 9, 2021 — Major pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of concealed carry in a park, according to court records. He successfully completed a sentence of two months supervision. Judge Robert Kuzas handled the case.