A 19-year-old man on bail for accidentally shooting a friend while handling an illegally possessed handgun earlier this year was found carrying another gun illegally in the Loop on Tuesday evening, according to prosecutors and police.
The story begins around 12:40 p.m. on January 18 when Javier De Jesus and two 19-year-old friends were hanging out in the soon-to-be victim’s bedroom on the 4000 block of North Pioneer on the city’s Northwest Side.
While the other two men fiddled with their phones, De Jesus pulled out a handgun that he allegedly bought on Snapchat and racked the slide, Assistant State’s Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said during a January bond court hearing.
De Jesus, thinking the gun was not loaded, racked the gun’s slide and pulled the trigger, Scaduto said. The bullet struck the victim below his navel and perforated his bladder, according to Scaduto.
When the victim yelled that he’d been shot, De Jesus and the other man thought he was joking, Scaduto said. Then, they saw his blood pouring out. A woman who was in the house heard the gunshot and rushed to the bedroom. She began first aid and called 911, Scaduto said. The victim was taken to a hospital for emergency surgery.
De Jesus later told police he was “shocked” that the gun went off. All three men agreed that De Jesus did not intend to shoot the man.
Police recovered the 45-caliber handgun that De Jesus allegedly fired and found another gun under a blanket on the bed where the victim had been sitting, Scaduto continued.
Prosecutors charged him with felony reckless discharge of a firearm and misdemeanor charges of possessing a firearm without a Firearm Owner’s ID card and possessing ammunition without a FOID card.
Private attorney Michael Gillespie called the shooting an “absolutely horrific accident” and said the victim was De Jesus’ best friend. The two men recently started working at O’Hare Airport together, Gillespie said. Judge David Navarro set bail at $10,000 and De Jesus posted a $1,000 deposit to go home.
On Wednesday, De Jesus, Navarro, and an attorney from Gillespie’s law firm were all back in bond court together.
Just before 8 p.m. Tuesday, police pulled a car over in the 100 block of West Harrison for a traffic violation. As the officers approached the car, they saw De Jesus and another man in the back seat along with a bottle of liquor and a pistol holster, Assistant State’s Attorney Lindsey Patton said.
Police ordered De Jesus out of the car and found a loaded 9-millimeter handgun in his waistband, Patton said. The officers also found a loaded handgun in the waistband of the 20-year-old who was sitting next to De Jesus in the back seat, according to Patton.
Both men are charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon. De Jesus still works at O’Hare. So does the other guy who allegedly had a gun in the car, according to their attorneys.
Navarro ordered De Jesus held without bail on the January case until the judge who’s handling the matter can hear about the bond violation Friday. Navarro set bail in the new gun case at $10,000 for each man, meaning they’ll need to post a $1,000 deposit to get out of jail on this week’s gun cases.