#21: Five months after escaping from electronic monitoring, he helped shoot up a carload of people, injuring 2, prosecutors say

Luis Molina Jr., a twice-convicted gun offender, escaped from electronic monitoring last September and then remained on the loose until mid-April, according to prosecutors and court records. Five days before authorities caught up with him, Molina and four-time felon Hector Rivera allegedly opened fire on a carload of people outside a liquor store. Two people were shot.

Molina is the 21st person accused of killing or shooting — or trying to shoot or kill — someone in Chicago this year while awaiting trial for a felony. The alleged crimes involve at least 49 victims, 11 of whom died.

Rivera, Molina’s alleged accomplice, was also awaiting trial for a felony gun case, his third. He was the 15th person charged with killing or shooting — or trying to shoot or kill — someone in Chicago this year while awaiting trial for a felony.

Luis Molina | CPD

Third gun case and escape

Molina’s court files shows Judge Charles Burns sentenced him to 27 months for possessing a stolen firearm in 2017. But when cops caught him with his second gun in May 2020, prosecutors only charged him with a misdemeanor.

He pleaded guilty in December of that year and Judge Robert Kuzas sentenced him to one day in jail. The sentence was off-set by the day he spent in custody upon being arrested.

Just five months later, on May 23, 2021, a Chicago police officer watching surveillance camera feeds saw a man holding a gun in the middle of 18th Place — a street that, based on his face tattoos, is important to Molina.

Patrol officers went to the scene and saw Molina walk to the back of a truck and place something inside. It turned out to be a gun, prosecutors said. They arrested him.

Judge Charles Beach set bail conditions that allowed Molina to go home on electronic monitoring by paying a $1,000 bail deposit. Four months later, on September 22, Molina stopped showing up for court. A judge issued an arrest warrant and prosecutors filed charges for escape from electronic monitoring.

He remained on the loose until April 10, 2022.

A shooting

Four days before authorities caught Molina, five friends arrived at a liquor store on the 2300 block of West 21st Street. While one friend stepped out of the car to go into the store, two gunmen began shooting him and the four who remained inside the vehicle.

The car’s driver sped away from the gunfire and headed to a hospital because two of the passengers realized the gunmen had shot them. An 18-year-old woman suffered a gunshot wound to her bicep and a 19-year-old man was shot in his stomach, officials said.

Detectives identified Molina and Rivera from crystal-clear surveillance video that showed them both holding guns inside the liquor store and shooting the guns outside the business, Assistant State’s Attorney Loukas Kalliantasis said.

Police announced the charges against Molina this week, but court records show a grand jury indicted him May 11 on 15 counts of attempted murder, two counts of aggravated battery by discharging a firearm, and three counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm into an occupied vehicle.

He is being held without bail.

The “not horrible” series

This report continues our coverage of individuals who have been accused of murder, attempted murder, or shooting firearms toward people 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 less than 5% of non-fatal shootings and 33% of murders, according to the city’s data. You can support CWBChicago’s work by becoming a subscriber today.

#1: Man who tried to shoot 3 outside a North Side restaurant on New Year’s Day had a pending felony case, prosecutors say (January 6, 2022)

#2: Felon awaiting trial for 4 sexual assault cases escaped from electronic monitoring and tried to kill investigators who tracked him down, prosecutors say (January 15, 2022)

#3: With felony gun case pending, man shot passerby during “exchange of gunfire,” prosecutors say (January 23, 2022)

#4: Seven-time felon on electronic monitoring for his 4th gun case tried to shoot and kill his girlfriend’s father, prosecutors say (January 26, 2022)

#5: Teen on electronic monitoring for TWO gun cases carjacked a Lyft driver, then shot a 15-year-old at point-blank range, prosecutors say (February 10, 2022)

#6: Man killed nursing student months after going AWOL from felony DUI case, prosecutors say (February 20, 2022)

#7: Man shot and killed his own brother while on bail for a felony gun case, prosecutors say (February 22, 2022)

#8: Beloved Hyde Park bartender was killed by a robber who has 3 pending felony cases, prosecutors said (March 7, 2022)

#9: Man involved in New Year’s shoot-out that left one dead was on bail for his 3rd gun felony, prosecutors say (March 8, 2022)

#10: An 11-time convicted felon shot a 3-year-old and tried to kill the boy’s mother while on felony bail, prosecutors say (March 11, 2022)

#11: Man allegedly stabbed another to death 4 days after getting released on felony bail (March 29, 2022)

#12: He opened fire on his ex’s house, killing a man, prosecutors say. But he was supposed to be home 24/7 for a pending felony gun case. (March 29, 2022)

#13: Man shot a woman, fired toward 4 others, while on bond for being a felon in possession of a firearm, prosecutors say (April 7, 2022)

#14: Man killed his parents in an Uptown senior center while on bond for federal armed robbery and gun charges, prosecutors say (April 14. 2022)

#15: Four-time felon opened fire on a carload of victims, injuring 2 while on bond for felony gun case, prosecutors say (April 20, 2022)

#16: Man shot his ex this month and her boyfriend last month, prosecutors say. He was on felony bail. (April 24, 2022)

#17: Man tried to kill 2 cable TV installers over a missing dog, prosecutors say. He was on bail at the time. (April 30, 2022)

#18: Man escaped from electronic monitoring and ran over a cop in a stolen car while fleeing a murder scene, prosecutors say (May 19, 2022)

#19: A two-time felon circled a West Side neighborhood for 15 minutes looking for someone to kill in a revenge murder, prosecutors say. He was on bond for a gun case at the time. (May 21, 2022)

#20: Alleged mass shooter had a felony gun case pending when he killed 2, wounded 7 near Magnificent Mile, records show (May 22, 2022)

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About CWBChicago 6547 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