Suburban man charged with firing gun outside West Loop hotel

Tyrale Johnson | CPD

A northwest suburban man will need to post $7,500 to get out of jail after prosecutors accused him of firing a gun outside a West Loop hotel early Sunday.

Tyrale Johnson, 29, of South Elgin is charged with felony reckless discharge of a firearm and felony unlawful use of a weapon.

Police responded to multiple calls of shots fired outside the Hampton Inn, 116 North Jefferson, around 2:27 a.m. and met with witnesses who provided them a description of the shooter, according to CPD records.

Officers also reviewed surveillance video from a nearby hotel that allegedly shows Johnson leaving the hotel and walking through a group of people before he pulled out a handgun and began shooting, a CPD spokesperson said.

No one was shot, but several parked cars were hit by the gunfire, according to the spokesperson.

Police spotted Johnson walking several blocks away and ordered him to stop, a prosecutor said Sunday afternoon. As cops approached, Johnson tossed a gun into a puddle of water and kept walking, according to the state.

After detaining Johnson, officers returned to the puddle and allegedly recovered a handgun from the water. Its ammunition magazine was missing.

At almost the same time that Johnson was appearing in bond court on Sunday afternoon, someone called 911 to report finding an extended ammunition magazine near the hotel, according to Windy City Weather and News, a Twitter account that monitors police radio transmissions.

Prosecutors said Johnson admitted to firing three shots into the air. He has ten misdemeanor convictions and a 2014 unlawful possession of a firearm conviction that resulted in an eight-year prison term, according to the state.

Judge Charles Beach set his bond at $75,000, which requires a 10% deposit to be released from jail.

Hotel gatherings have been an on-going source of shootings and gun-related incidents around the downtown area since room rates nose-dived with the arrival of COVID. Among the more recent cases:

  • Police arrested a man who allegedly fired shots near Wabash and Lake streets on March 19. That incident was reportedly linked to a party at the nearby Virgin Hotel.
  • Police arrested six men and seized six guns when a traffic stop led them to a party in the Eurostars Magnificent Mile hotel, 660 North State, on March 7.
  • On February 28, a man was charged with a gun violation after he fired a weapon into the air to break up a fight outside the LondonHouse.
  • A man was shot with a rifle inside a room at the Hampton Inn River North, 33 West Illinois, on January 30.
  • shoot-out at the Swissotel, 323 East Wacker, left a man injured on November 7.
  • On March 30, an 18-year-old man was shot during an argument among a group of people inside a Streeterville hotel.

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