A man who was shot by Chicago police during a struggle for control of a weapon in his waistband was on bail for a pending felony charge of illegally possessing a machine gun, according to prosecutors.
Jayden Higgs, 23, remained sedated and intubated at a hospital with a gunshot wound to his head, officials said during his bail hearing Sunday. He is charged with aggravated assault of a peace officer and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.
Chicago police officers on patrol near the 5300 block of South May Street heard gunfire around 11:04 p.m. Thursday and received a ShotSpotter alert of gunfire in the area, according to prosecutor Toni Giancola.
When officers pulled up on the block, they saw four men standing in the street, two of whom ran away while holding their waistbands, according to Giancola. One cop saw a handgun in Higgs’ waist and warned his partners about it, she said.
During a patdown, the officer who saw the gun discovered a pistol in Higgs’ front waistband, but Higgs began resisting, Giancola continued. According to her, the officer wrapped his arms around Higgs from behind and tried to press down on the firearm to keep Higgs from pulling it out.
But Higgs maneuvered his right hand onto the gun and began to pull it out as officers ordered him to stop, according to Giancola. She said that Higgs then pushed the officer’s arm away, and the cop felt the gun rise until he lost control of the weapon.
When Higgs pulled the gun barrel out of his pants, the officer trying to control him fired a shot, striking him once in the head, Giancola said.
Police allegedly recovered a loaded handgun with an extended magazine attached from under Higgs’ body. Giancola said the gun was still in Higgs’ waist.
The incident was recorded on body cameras, she added.
Last September, prosecutors charged Higgs with unlawful use of a machine gun following an incident in West Garfield Park.
In that case, police responding to a ShotSpotter alert allegedly saw Higgs leaving a vehicle and then returning with two guns, Giancola said. Cops ordered him to drop the weapons, but he ran behind a car and threw them instead, according to Giancola.
Police recovered a handgun with an automatic fire switch and a 50-round drum magazine attached along with a rifle, Giancola said. Higgs also had a key fob in his pocket that matched a nearby stolen car, she continued.
Higgs paid a $20,000 bail deposit to get out of jail in September. Giancola said Higgs also has a pending stolen motor vehicle case in Will County.
Judge Susana Ortiz ordered him held without bail for violating bond conditions in the September case. She set bail at $1 million cash on the new allegations, meaning Higgs must post the full $1 million to get out of jail on the latest case. State law prohibits judges from holding defendants without bail if they are absent from court due to no fault of their own.