#1: Man who tried to shoot 3 outside a North Side restaurant on New Year’s Day had a pending felony case, prosecutors say

Carlos Martinez | CPD

Around 8:30 p.m. on New Year’s Day, Carlos Martinez and another man pulled out guns and began shooting at a carload of men following an argument outside a Belmont Cragin restaurant, according to prosecutors.

The fired bullets did not strike any of his intended targets, but Martinez did shoot himself in the hand, Assistant State’s Attorney John Gnilka said during a bond court hearing this week.

Martinez, 24, was the subject of a two-year-old felony arrest warrant in a pending aggravated DUI case at the time of the shooting, according to court records. He has two prior DUI convictions and has been to prison twice for illegal gun possession.

He is the first person accused of killing, trying to kill, or shooting someone in Chicago this year while awaiting trial for a felony.

The three men who argued with Martinez and his companion outside the restaurant on the 3100 block of North Central walked away, crossed the street, and climbed into a car to leave, Gnilka said.

Surveillance video allegedly shows Martinez and the other man pulling out guns that they point toward the group’s car. It also shows Martinez shooting himself in the left hand before he and the accomplice open fire on the vehicle, said Gnilka.

Chicago police officers heard the gunfire and responded to the area. Other cops were dispatched to the scene in response to a ShotSpotter gunfire detector alert, Gnilka said.

They detained Martinez as he was getting into a car nearby. Officers allegedly found two loaded handguns in an alley near the shooting scene, including one that had blood on it. DNA tests are pending, Gnilka said.

In addition to his pending felony aggravated DUI case, Martinez was convicted of aggravated DUI twice in 2016. He received a three-year sentence for unlawful use of a weapon in 2017 and another four-year sentence for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in 2019.

Prosecutors charged him with aggravated discharge of a firearm in connection with the New Year’s Day incident.

Assistant Public Defender Suzin Farber said Martinez is the father of a four-year-old.

Judge Maryam Ahmad set bail at $70,000, meaning Martinez must post $7,000 to go home on electronic monitoring in the shooting case. She also ordered him held without bail on the DUI warrant.

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.

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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