CHICAGO — Free on a recognizance bond for a pending robbery charge, Carlos Ocampo played with a handgun in the back seat of a car Sunday evening and accidentally fired a shot that seriously injured the car’s front seat passenger, prosecutors said Tuesday.
He is the ninth person accused of shooting, killing, or trying to shoot or kill someone in Chicago this year while awaiting trial for a felony. The cases involve twelve victims, six of whom died.
Ocampo, 21, and a friend were at North Avenue Beach when they struck up a conversation with a 17-year-old girl and then smoked pot with her, officials said during his bail hearing.
Around 6:30 p.m., the men agreed to give the girl a ride home and they climbed into the second man’s car. The girl sat in the front passenger seat and Ocampo sat in the back.
Prosecutors said the driver, who is licensed to own firearms, had a pistol inside a case in the back seat. As the car neared the 2700 block of North Lake Shore Drive, the girl heard the clicking sound of Ocampo putting an ammunition magazine into the weapon and then heard a loud bang, according to prosecutors.
She immediately felt a horrible pain in her back and realized she was bleeding profusely. Chicago police would later find a bullet hole in the back of the passenger seat.
Officials said the driver looked back and saw Ocampo holding his firearm in one hand and the ammunition magazine in the other.
Ocampo apologized repeatedly and tried to comfort the girl as the driver headed to St. Joseph Hospital, according to prosecutors. Upon arriving at the hospital, Ocampo ran inside, grabbed a wheelchair, and helped the girl get into the facility.
Meanwhile, the driver took his car to the Town Hall (19th) District police station, 850 West Addison. There, he told officers about what happened and directed them to the firearm, which was still inside his vehicle.
The girl was transferred to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center for treatment. She suffered a broken pelvis and intestinal damage, prosecutors said. As of Tuesday, she had undergone surgery and remained in the intensive care unit.
Prosecutors said Ocampo initially denied shooting the girl but later admitted that he accidentally pulled the trigger.
In November, Ocampo was charged with a suburban robbery and released the same day on a recognizance bond, according to prosecutors. He also has a pending misdemeanor case for resisting arrest, according to officials.
He is now charged with reckless discharge of a firearm. Judge Barbara Dawkins ordered him to pay a $30,000 bail deposit to be released on electronic monitoring.
But Ocampo won’t be eligible for release until he meets with the judge overseeing his robbery case, Dawkins said.
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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