River North ambush caught on video; gun charge filed against driver who allegedly sped from the scene

CHICAGO — A newly acquired video of Saturday’s shooting in River North shows four people jumping out of a parked car in an apparent ambush of the victim as he walked in the 300 block of West Erie. “Upwards of 50” rounds were fired in the attack, which left the victim critically wounded, a Chicago police officer at the scene said.

In another new development, the man that CPD officers pursued from the scene was charged Sunday with unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated fleeing. But he is not charged with shooting the man. More on that in a minute.

The video, provided to CWBChicago by a follower, provides a horrifying look at what happened a little after 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

In the footage, the victim is seen walking on the sidewalk when a group of gunmen appears to emerge from a car parked across the street. The men charge at the victim, who falls to the ground.

He gets back up and runs, followed closely by a gunman who chases him down the block, apparently shooting along the way. At one point, a bullet hits a brick wall on the left side of the video, sending a puff of debris into the air.

After successfully shooting the victim near a stop sign, the gunman bolts back down the block, and the car the men emerged from pulls out to pick him up.

Another video, recorded from a nearby highrise, shows a man wearing a light-colored shirt and tan shorts putting the victim into an SUV that speeds away from the scene. It later arrived at Stroger Hospital, where the victim was in critical condition with a gunshot wound to his head.

Meanwhile, the man wearing tan shorts enters a gray Jeep and follows the first car.

The sirens of approaching police officers can be heard in the video. Watch:

Bystanders directed officers to the Jeep, telling the cops that the shooter was in the vehicle, prosecutors said Sunday.

Cops pursued the Jeep onto the expressway as the SUV swerved around cars and sped away. The driver, identified as Curtis Roberts, threw a gun from the driver’s window as he crossed the Ontario feeder ramp, Assistant State’s Attorney Luka Jakovic said Sunday.

Roberts, 35, continued to flee from officers as they pursued him with lights and sirens activated, according to Jakvoic.

After driving on and off the expressways and running several red lights on surface streets, Roberts crashed into a red Hyundai in the 1600 block of West Van Buren, disabling his car, Jakovic said.

Officers arrested him at the scene. A video posted to the Citizen app showed police detaining a man wearing a light-colored shirt and tan shorts while standing near a gray Jeep.

A video frame from the Citizen app shows police detaining a man near the Jeep. | Citizen

Jakovic said cops recovered a handgun and ammunition magazine from the Ontario feeder ramp. He said there was blood on the firearm and on Roberts’ hands.

Roberts was convicted of fleeing and eluding in 2015, and he has two earlier felony narcotics convictions, according to Jakovic.

During the bail hearing, Assistant Public Defender Kyle Morrison reminded Judge Susana Ortiz that Roberts is not accused of firing the weapon at anyone.

“Whatever the state may be implying with their other facts that you are given, as of right now, he is only charged with [aggravated unlawful use of a weapon] and fleeing and eluding,” said Morrison.

Ortiz set bail at $100,000. That means Roberts must post a $10,000 bail deposit to be released on electronic monitoring.

The police have not announced any other arrests in connection with the shooting.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com