Chicago — At least two gunmen armed with rifles opened fire on another man as he left a Cook County courthouse where he appeared on felony gun charges Wednesday morning, according to sources. Bullets struck the courthouse building, which is adjacent to the Chicago Police Department’s area headquarters and the Calumet (5th) District station, but the intended target escaped serious injury.
The incident may have had an element of déjà vu for the man.
In October, he rolled his Mercedes on the South Side and told Chicago cops that he crashed because three masked men with guns were chasing him in a Dodge Charger. After a tow truck returned his vehicle to an upright position, police allegedly found a loaded handgun with an extended ammunition magazine on the floorboard.
Prosecutors charged him with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and leaving the scene of an accident. He appeared in bond court the next day, posted a $3,000 bail deposit, and went home on electronic monitoring a few hours after the hearing, court records show.
On Wednesday morning, he returned to the police and courthouse complex at 727 East 111th Street for a routine hearing. Well, it was routine until he left around 11:48 a.m.
“ON-VIEW FIRED IN FRONT OF THE FIFTH DISTRICT! ON-VIEW SHOTS FIRED!” an officer screamed into the radio around 11:48 a.m. “TWO OR THREE MALES GOT LONG RIFLES!”
An off-duty officer in the area also saw gunmen firing rifles from a car.
The victim was cut by flying glass as several rounds struck his car, but he did not get shot, Chicago police said. Two bullets hit the northwest corner of the courthouse, according to an officer who was at the scene.
More than 30 shell casings were discovered in the area, and Dolton police tracked down the shooters’ black Chrysler 300 about 30 minutes later, according to the source. However, no one was in the vehicle.
The intended target was convicted of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon in 2019 and a felony narcotics charge in 2014, prosecutors said during his October bail hearing.
His defense attorney during that court appearance described him as a church-going father of two.