CHICAGO — Prosecutors say a seven-time convicted felon opened fire on a group of teenagers outside. Chicago Public Library in Garfield Park. A 16-year-old boy and a 12-year-old boy were struck by the gunfire.
Adam Avizius, 37, was held without bail by Judge Kelly McCarthy on a charge of aggravated battery by discharging a firearm.
Assistant State’s Attorney Sarah Dale-Schmidt told the judge that Avizius and a female companion were walking near Legler Regional Library, 115 South Pulaski, when Avizius got into an argument with the 16-year-old around 6 p.m. last Tuesday.
Avizius and the woman went on their way, but the 16-year-old walked up and struck Avizius several times. A group of young people who happened to be passing by stopped to watch.
As Avizius and the teen fought, a firearm fell from Avizius’s fanny pack, prompting the 16-year-old to run toward the group that stopped to spectate, Dale-Schmidt explained.
She said Avizius picked up the gun and fired about five rounds toward the group, striking the 16-year-old in the calf and hitting a 12-year-old bystander in the lower back. The younger boy collapsed near the foot of the library’s stairs. He remained in intensive care as of Friday. Surveillance cameras recorded the incident.
After the shooting, Avizius ran into a nearby clothing store, but several witnesses chased him down. Chicago police had to separate the mob from Avizius so he could be arrested. As they did, Dale-Schmidt said, Avizius’ gun fell to the ground again.
Assistant Public Defender Mallory Hudson argued that the 16-year-old attacked Avizius after he “tried to de-escalate” the situation by walking away.
Avizius’s felony convictions include two burglaries, theft, narcotics-related violations, and driving while his license was suspended due to a DUI, said Dale-Schmidt.