#62: Convicted felon, on bail for gun case, tried to kill 2 Chicago cops on Christmas Eve, prosecutors say

Nokomis Jefferson | CPD

A Chicago man who has been linked to guns and violence in the city since at least 2013 opened fire on two cops who tried to arrest him for openly carrying a handgun on a Near West Side street corner Christmas Eve, prosecutors said. The man posted just $500 to get out of jail for allegedly carrying a gun in his hand at the exact same location in March, according to prosecutors and public records.

Nokomis Jefferson, 29, was charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder and being a felon in possession of a weapon for the latest incident on Sunday. He was still on bond for the March case when he allegedly tried to kill the officers.

Jefferson is the 62nd person accused of killing, trying to kill, or shooting someone in Chicago this year while awaiting trial for a felony. A total of 95 victims are involved in those crimes — 25 of them were murdered.

At 11 p.m. on March 9, Chicago police officers watching a CHA video feed saw Jefferson pull a gun from his waistband on the 1300 block of West Hastings, according to police and prosecutors. Cops went to the scene. He ran, police chased him, and he threw a gun into a courtyard before they took him into custody, prosecutors said during his March bond hearing.

Officers recovered the loaded handgun, which had been reported stolen in Missouri. Prosecutors charged him with being a felon in possession of a firearm but specifically said they were not charging him with possessing a stolen firearm.

The prosecutor who presented the allegations in March told Judge Mary Marubio that Jefferson had prior felony convictions for unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated assault of a police officer. But she did not tell Marubio that the cases stemmed from an incident in which Jefferson pointed a handgun at police officers who were chasing him for carrying the illegal firearm. That took place on the 1300 block of West 13th Street, a block from where the March incident allegedly occurred.

Prosecutors also did not tell Marubio that Jefferson was convicted of arson in Minnesota in 2019 — a case in which he was originally charged with aiding and abetting murder.

After hearing the allegations, Marubio ruled that Jefferson could go home on electronic monitoring by making a $500 deposit on his $5,000 bail. Abut a month later, on April 7, Judge Edward Maloney removed the electronic monitoring requirement, according to court records

Prosecutors said Jefferson was on a court-ordered curfew from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. at the time of the alleged shootings on Christmas Eve, but the judge who ordered the curfew did not require him to wear a monitoring bracelet to enforce the order. Court records that would identify that judge were not immediately available.

Now, this next part may sound strangely familiar.

At 10:45 p.m. on Christmas Eve — nearly four hours after Jefferson’s unenforced nightly curfew began — Chicago police officers watching a CHA video feed saw Jefferson repeatedly taking a gun out of his waistband as cars passed him on the 1300 block of West Hastings, Assistant State’s Attorney Mary Jackovac said Sunday.

Cops went to the scene and officers heard other people on the block yell to Jefferson that police were coming, Jackovac said. Jefferson ran and two cops bolted from their unmarked car to chase him as marked CPD units arrived, according to Jackovac.

Jefferson looked toward one of the officers and began shooting at the cop, Jackovac said. The officer returned fire as Jefferson allegedly continued to shoot.

Jackovac said Jefferson took shelter behind a car with another man and Jefferson began shooting at both officers again, extending his arm from behind the car and moving it back and forth as he shot, according to Jackovac.

Jefferson and the other man then began running again. Cops found Jefferson standing on the 12th (Near West) Police District station parking lot with his hands on a car, Jackovac said. He had been shot. No police officers were injured.

Police found a gun under the car where Jefferson and the other man took shelter, according to Jackovac. Shell casings were found near the car and in the spot where the cops returned fire.

The incident was reportedly recorded by “numerous” police body cameras as well as CPD and CHA surveillance cameras.

Jefferson remained hospitalized on Sunday. Judge David Navarro noted that he was prohibited from holding Jefferson without bail on the attempted murder charges because Jefferson was not physically present in court. Instead, Navarro set bail at $1 million cash. Separately, he ordered Jefferson held without bail for violating the terms of bond in the pending gun case from March. (Editors note: Jefferson appeared in person for another bail hearing on December 27. Judge Charles Beach ordered him held without bail on the attempted murder case.)

Back in 2013, the now-shuttered DNAInfo news site published a story about a “gangbanger video” that featured Jefferson:

While rap videos about violence and guns aren’t out of the ordinary, the video has set off alarm bells on the Near West Side after it was filmed in an apartment in Roosevelt Square, a Chicago Housing Authority development built in 2006.

[ … ]

Police said the video features several gang members, including Shoota Mac — whom authorities identified as Nokomis Jefferson, an ABLA New Breed member. Jefferson, 21, has been arrested multiple times and now faces gun charges after he was caught ditching the guns used in the video, police said in court hearings.

The violence in the area has attracted national attention: Jefferson appeared not far from Roosevelt Square, waving a gun in an episode of HBO’s “Vice” that aired over the summer.

Jefferson was living with his mother, Bridgette Leachman, in the Roosevelt Square unit in the 1200 block of West Washburne Street at the time the video was shot, officials said. CHA officials have since mentioned the video in an eviction case against them, and the two have agreed to leave Roosevelt Square by January, court records show.

Eight years after DNAInfo published that story, Jefferson continued to list a home address on the 1200 block of West Washburne after his arrests in March and Christmas Eve, according to court records. His home is two blocks from the 1300 block of West Hastings.

By the way, the man who was allegedly hiding behind the car as Jefferson shot at the police officers was also arrested.

Prosecutors said James McKay, 27, threw a handgun as police chased him after the shooting. Officers recovered a loaded handgun and a bag containing ecstasy and cannabis, according to the allegations.

McKay was on bond in a DuPage County case that accuses him of being a felon in possession of a firearm, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, and DUI. Navarro ordered him to pay a $10,000 deposit on bail of $100,000 to get out of jail.

Editor’s note: This report continues our coverage of individuals who have been charged with murder, attempted murder, or trying to kill a person while on bond for a pending felony case. CWBChicago began our series of reports in November 2019 after Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans publicly stated, “we haven’t had any horrible incidents occur” under the court’s bond reform initiative.

The actual number of murders and shootings committed by people on felony bail is undoubtedly much higher than the numbers seen here. Since 2017, CPD has made arrests in just 4% of shootings and 31% of murders, according to the city’s data.  You can support CWBChicago’s work by becoming a subscriber today.

Related 2021 stories

About CWBChicago 6674 Articles
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