When a concealed carry license holder shot a gunman in Chicago on Monday, police initially thought it was a botched carjacking. It wasn’t. Prosecutors said on Wednesday that the men knew each other and that the concealed carry permit holder was targeted in a murder attempt by a seven-time felon on bond for a Class X armed habitual criminal gun case.
Willie Barnes, 37, remained hospitalized with a gunshot wound to his abdomen as prosecutors explained what happened during a bail hearing before Judge Charles Beach. He is charged with attempted murder and Class X armed habitual criminal (again).
Barnes is the 30th person accused of killing or shooting—or attempting to kill or shoot—someone in Chicago while on bail for a felony this year. The alleged crimes involved at least 64 victims, 13 of whom died.
A little after midnight on Monday, the 45-year-old concealed carry holder left a club and followed a female friend to her home. After she arrived safely, he continued to his own home.
As he was parking, Barnes, wearing a ski mask, pulled up in a car next to him and began firing, prosecutor Steven Haamid said. The victim returned fire, striking Barnes. Haamid said Barnes had a child with the woman that the victim followed home.
The victim called 911 while keeping his gun trained on Barnes, who cried out about “wanting to live and heal” as he lay on the ground, Haamid said. Police also received two ShotSpotter alerts at the shooting location around 1:27 a.m.
Officers discovered Barnes lying behind a Buick, apparently trying to hide a gun and ski mask behind the vehicle’s rear tire, according to Haamid. He was awake but critically injured. The victim was unharmed.
Haamid said the victim’s home security system recorded the entire incident.
Barnes was charged with a nine-count gun case in 2019, but it ended with a mistrial in June. He was released on bond to await a new trial. Haamid said he is currently on federal supervised release in a federal drug case that earned him a 10-year sentence in 2013. His previous convictions include two robberies and a carjacking in 2004, according to Haamid.
Judge Beach ordered Barnes held without bail for violating bond in the 2019 case and set bail at $250,000 cash on the new charges. Beach noted that state law barred him from holding Barnes without bail because Barnes was not physically present for the hearing.
“Mr. Barnes is not to go back to [the victim’s] address,” Beach added. “I’d venture to say he does not want to, either.”
The “not horrible” series
This report continues our coverage of individuals accused of killing, shooting, or trying to kill or shoot others 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 brought charges in less than 5% of non-fatal shootings and 33% of murders, according to the city’s data.
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#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)
#21: Five months after escaping from electronic monitoring, he helped shoot up a carload of people, injuring 2, prosecutors say (May 29, 2022)
#22: Man accused of setting ‘Walking Man’ on fire has been AWOL from 2 felony cases for 15 months, court records show (May 30, 2022)
#23: Two weeks after being charged with having a stolen rifle in a hijacked car, he allegedly shot a man with a rifle after getting out of a hijacked car (June 11, 2022)
#24: Gunman left a woman paralyzed in River North just 4 weeks after officials sent his felony gun case to a “peace circle,” prosecutors say (June 13, 2022)
#25: Teen acted as murderer’s driver while awaiting trial for carjacking, stolen car cases: prosecutors say (July 6, 2022)
#26: Man shot victim 5 times, days after being charged in a felony narcotics case, prosecutors say (July 7, 2022)
#27: Concealed carry holder shot man who opened fire on his car at McDonald’s, prosecutors say (July 14, 2022)
#28: Terrorism, attempted murder charges filed against man who allegedly detonated bomb on Pink Line in May (August 8, 2022)
#29: Three-time felon shot robbery victim while on bail for felony gun case, prosecutors say (August 23, 2022)
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