Chicago police tackled a Kankakee man as he ran from the scene of a shooting on the Division Street entertainment district with a gun in his hand early Saturday, prosecutors said. Jermaine Purdis, 37, is not accused of firing the gun during the incident in which two sisters were unintentionally shot.
Purdis was visiting Chicago for his cousin’s funeral, Assistant Public Defender Max Suchan said during a bail hearing Sunday afternoon.
Police assigned to the legendary nightlife strip reported shots fired near an alley on the first block of West Division at 3:17 a.m. Prosecutors said one of the officers saw Purdis dash out from behind a vehicle and run down the street with a gun in his hand after the shooting.
Purdis dropped the loaded gun after the cop tackled him, according to prosecutors.
He is charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.
According to prosecutors, his criminal background includes felony convictions for robbery in 2002, resisting in 2007, and narcotics in 2009 and 2013.
Judge Barbara Dawkins ordered Purdis to pay a $1,500 deposit toward bail to get out of jail on electronic monitoring.
No one has been charged with actually firing the gun or guns that injured the two women, ages 29 and 26. CPD said the younger woman was shot twice in the left leg and the buttocks. Her older sister suffered a graze wound to the left side of her head. Both were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Witnesses said the women were standing near each other when the shooting started nearby. According to their online profiles, one of the victims is a Chicago Public Schools teacher, and the other is a licensed professional counselor.
They are the 48th and 49th persons shot this year in the Near North community area, which had just 19 shooting victims at this point in 2021. There were 27 as of July 23, 2020, and 23 at this point in 2019.
This year’s shootings involve 29 separate incidents, but only two alleged shooters have been charged.
Jaylun Sanders, 21, is accused of killing two people and injuring seven others in a mass shooting near a Chicago Red Line station on May 19. At the time of the shooting, Sanders was on bail for a pending felony gun case.
Ojani Cruz, 19, is accused of shooting a woman and trying to shoot a man who were inside a minivan near Ward Park on the night before Memorial Day. The woman is now paralyzed, prosecutors said. Cruz had a felony gun case pending in “restorative justice” court at the time of the shooting.
Prosecutors rejected charges against a man who police believe shot a 33-year-old man outside a nightclub in the 100 block of West Hubbard on April 23. The shooting was caught on video.
Last week, Sania Khan was allegedly killed by her estranged husband, who then shot himself to death as police began to enter Khan’s Streeterville apartment to check on her well-being.