A man who has twice been convicted of shooting people in Chicago tried to shoot and kill his estranged girlfriend two times last week, prosecutors said. In the second attempt, a bullet allegedly fired by Charlie Moreno struck and killed a man seated at the bar in the restaurant where the woman works.
Moreno, also known as Carlos Montez, was held without bail by Judge Kelly McCarthy.
Moreno had been seeing the 27-year-old woman for about eight months, but the woman ended the relationship in late June because he was physically abusive “on a daily basis,” prosecutor Lorraine Scaduto said.
He began stalking the woman and recently began sending text messages with threats to shoot her at work, according to Scaduto.
Last week, Moreno tried to shoot the woman as she rode to work but missed, although ShotSpotter technology and bullet holes in the car supported the woman’s claims, Scaduto said.
According to Scaduto, police were still investigating the alleged shooting attempt on Friday evening when Moreno opened fire on the woman while she was taking a smoke break at Curramba Colombian Restaurant Bar, 2701 West Division.
The woman saw him driving toward her before he looked at her, extended a gun out of his vehicle, and opened fire, Scaduto alleged. One round flew into the restaurant and struck a 50-year-old customer in the neck. He subsequently died from his injuries. The woman was not injured.
She gave police Moreno’s license plate number and vehicle description, Scaduto said. Police found Moreno a short distance away and took him into custody. A gun and two shell casings were in the car.
He faces first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and armed habitual criminal charges.
Moreno’s public defender questioned the strength of the state’s case.
“We don’t know if there’s any sort of motivation by this woman to say it was him. You have one witness to this shooting,” he said.
“The fact that he happens to be in the area…doesn’t mean that he was necessary involved in this case,” the lawyer argued.
Moreno is currently on parole for shooting a man three times during a robbery in December 2007, Scaduto said. He received 15 years for aggravated battery by discharging a firearm, which was reduced from attempted murder.
He was previously convicted of shooting a man during an argument on New Year’s Eve 2001, according to Scaduto. Moreno received six years in that case.