2 charged with carrying guns on downtown subway

Two men face felony charges after police allegedly found them with guns on CTA trains in the Loop. One of the men was recently discharged from parole in an unlawful restraint that began as an attempted murder charge. The other is currently on parole for a gun case.

CTA workers saw three men wearing ski masks and one of them holding a firearm as they walked back and forth on a Red Line car at State-Lake around 12:50 a.m. Friday, according to prosecutors and police records.

Officers found 22-year-old Willie Ware and another man sitting on the train and began talking with them, prosecutors said. At one point, Ware allegedly jumped up, pulled a gun from his hoodie, and threw it onto the lap of the other man.

The weapon was a loaded 9-millimeter pistol with a 50-round drum magazine, and a switch could enable it to generate automatic gunfire, according to prosecutors and police. The weapon was allegedly loaded with metal-piercing bullets.

Willie Ware (left), Kevon Reed, and the weapons police allegedly found them carrying on the CTA. | CPD

Ware is on parole for possession of a defaced firearm. State records show he received a two-year sentence for that, but he left prison on the same day he arrived because officials halved his sentence for good behavior and he received credit for time spent in custody before pleading. He was adjudicated delinquent for robbery in 2014.

The man who was with Ware on the train is not charged with any crime.

Meanwhile, CPD officers scoured CTA surveillance cameras for the third man that transit workers saw on the train and spotted a second man holding a handgun on the Jackson Blue Line station platform.

Officers went there and found 21-year-old Kevon Reed sitting on a bench with a satchel strapped to his chest, prosecutors said. He freely admitted that a gun was in the bag, according to police.

The weapon was a 40-caliber handgun with a laser sight attached, prosecutors said.

Reed received a three-year sentence for unlawful restraint in 2019, a charge that prosecutors reduced from attempted murder. In that case, Reed and two other men allegedly robbed a weed dealer, and one of his accomplices shot the victim. He was also adjudicated delinquent for vehicular hijacking in 2017.

Prosecutors charged Reed with unlawful use of a weapon for the CTA incident.

Ware is charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and two additional counts of unlawful use of a weapon. Prosecutors said authorities are testing the automatic-fire switch on the weapon he allegedly possessed. If it works, the state expects to upgrade his charge to Class X armed habitual criminal.

Assistant Public Defender Suzin Ware noted that Reed never threatened anyone with his gun, and he was compliant when police confronted him. She said Ware has two kids and lives in Riverdale.

Judge Charles Beach ordered both men held without bail. Illinois Department of Corrections is reviewing Ware’s parole status, prosecutors said.

The men are due back in court on November 12.

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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