Prosecutors say a man on bond for a felony gun case fired the first shot in a gunfight that left his friend dead after 50 rounds were exchanged on the South Side last month. But they aren’t charging him with anything other than illegally possessing another gun.
Just before 2 a.m. on August 17, Demonte Mitchell, Clement Simmons and two other men were walking on the 700 block of East 132nd Street when Simmons turned to face someone in a parking lot, according to Assistant State’s Attorney John Gnilka and public records.
Mitchell walked behind Simmons, pulled out a gun, and started shooting at the man in the parking lot, Gnilka said. The man shot back. Simmons, 18, fell to the ground and died at the scene from a gunshot wound to his neck.
Video shows Mitchell, 20, shooting the gun and literally running out of his shoes as he fled the scene, Gnilka said. Two security guards from a nearby housing complex saw him running and chased him. He was not wearing shoes when the guards detained him for police, Gnilka said.
Cops never found a gun, but Mitchell’s hands tested positive for gunshot residue, according to Gnilka.
Prosecutors charged Mitchell with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon. Gnilka said he does not expect the state to pursue any other charges against Mitchell in connection with the shooting.
Mitchell was on bail for two separate felony cases at the time of the shoot-out.
On March 28, Mitchell was the passenger of a car that police stopped for operating without headlights on the South Side. Cops said they found a digital scale and packaged marijuana in a book bag at his feet and a loaded handgun inside a hidden compartment within the glove box in front of him.
Prosecutors charged him with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and manufacture-delivery of cannabis. Judge Susana Ortiz set his bail at $150,000 and ordered him to go onto electronic monitoring, court records show. She also ordered him held without bail for violating the terms of bond in another felony case he had pending for allegedly possessing a stolen motor vehicle and aggravated assault with a motor vehicle.
Judge Thomas Hennelly reduced his bond on June 15, and Mitchell posted it the same day.
After hearing about the shoot-out allegations, Judge David Navarro ordered Mitchell held in lieu of $500,000 on the new charges. Navarro also ordered him held without bail for violating the terms of bond in the earlier gun case and the stolen motor vehicle case.
Mitchell doesn’t qualify for our growing list of people who’ve been accused of committing violent crimes in Chicago while on felony bond because, while prosecutors said he shot at another man, they didn’t charge him with doing so. He’ll have to settle for a dishonorable mention.