CHICAGO — A seven-time convicted felon charged with shooting and trying to kill a long-time friend was on bail for a felony case in which he’s accused of having more than three pounds of pot in his car.
Arsenio Cooper, 33, is the 13th 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 at least 18 victims, seven of whom died.
Prosecutors said Cooper saw his friend of 15 years walking a dog in the 3200 block of West Washington around 5:45 a.m. on May 19, and they had a conversation. But Cooper grew upset and drove away in his Jaguar SUV, Assistant State’s Attorney Kathryn Morrissey said during Cooper’s bail hearing.
Cooper’s friend put his dog away, then came back out to speak with someone else. As they talked, Cooper returned in the Jaguar, got out, and opened fire on the victim, Morrissey alleged.
One round struck the 36-year-old victim in the face. He ran toward his home as Cooper ran after him, “firing round after round,” Morrissey continued. The victim saw bullets hitting the front door of his house as he ran inside. Morrissey said a Ring doorbell camera recorded it all.
Cooper returned to the Jaguar and drove away while the victim’s sister called 911.
Assistant Public Defender Catherine Fisher, representing Cooper during the bail hearing, claimed that the victim brandished a firearm and said Cooper had been advised that the victim was waiting for him with a gun. It’s a self-defense case, she argued.
Judge Ankur Srivastava held Cooper without bail on a charge of attempted first-degree murder.
Cooper was on bail while awaiting trial for allegations that police found 1,600 grams of suspected marijuana inside three backpacks in his car during a traffic stop in March 2022, according to court records.
At the time of the traffic stop, Cooper was on bail for yet another felony case in which he faced charges of Class X armed habitual criminal and manufacture-delivery of cannabis, records show. He was acquitted of those charges in November.
Morrissey said his previous felony convictions include unlawful use of a weapon by a felon in 2019, possession of cannabis in 2015, manufacture-delivery of cannabis in 2012, unlawful use of a weapon with a previous conviction in 2011, and disarming a police officer and aggravated battery in 2007.
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.