A mass shooting that left one man dead and four injured in Back of the Yards on Tuesday afternoon is part of a weeks-long gang war fueled by a high-ranking gang member who paid just $1,000 to get out of jail for a felony gun case in March — four days after being released from federal prison, according to Chicago Police Supt. David Brown and court records.
After making the revelation during a press conference Wednesday morning, Brown went a step further and identified the alleged gang member by name: Sergio Barron.
Barron, he said, is “driving this violence” in Back of the Yards as retaliation for the murder of his brother last month.
Video of Tuesday’s shooting, tweeted by Chicago Contrarian, shows someone who appears to be a school student running down the block to get away from the shooting as it unfolds behind them.
“Our police officers did their job,” Brown said. “They took a gun off the street [from] a felon who had a violent history. That felon got a cash bond.”
Barron, 28, received an eight-year sentence in 2017 for aggravated discharge of a firearm and aggravated assault of a police officer, prosecutors said at his March bail hearing, according to a transcript of the proceeding. The charges stemmed from a case in which he allegedly fired a gun into an occupied car and then pointed the weapon at responding police officers.
He was released on federal parole on March 24, Assistant State’s Attorney Loukas Kalliantasis said when Barron appeared in Cook County bond court on a new felony gun charge just four days later.
Barron was in court because police allegedly found a loaded and stolen handgun in his car when they responded to a ShotSpotter alert on the 4800 block of South Loomis — a block from where Tuesday’s shooting occurred.
Kalliantasis said cops saw Barron recklessly reversing down the street when they arrived. After police found the gun between his driver’s seat and center console, Barron admitted to having the gun for personal protection, according to Kalliantasis.
Prosecutors charged him with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and possession of a controlled substance.
After hearing the allegations, details about the federal case, and that Barron was released on federal parole just four days earlier for shooting into an occupied car and threatening cops with a gun, Judge Maryam Ahmad told Barron he could go home by posting a 10% bail deposit of $1,000.
That’s the exact amount his public defender said he could afford, according to court records.
“The risk assessment on violent offenders by our judges needs to get better,” Brown said Wednesday.
He said CPD is trying to get federal and county prosecutors to revoke Barron’s bond and “get him back.”
Our original reporting is 100% reader-funded. Please contribute to our operating fund or purchase a subscription today.