Chicago man fired shots at two people while on bail for a felony gun case, prosecutors say

Prosecutors have charged a Chicago man with shooting at two people, including one he had an ongoing dispute with, while he was on bail for a felony gun case. Charges were filed this month, but the incident allegedly occurred on May 22, four days before prosecutors dropped his earlier gun case.

Thomas Harris is the 21st 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 35 victims, ten of whom died.

During a detention hearing this month, Assistant State’s Attorney Jonathan Meacham told Judge Maryam Ahmad that Harris, 24, knew one of the victims because her son used to date his sister. He said the 42-year-old woman secured an order of protection against Harris at some point, but it was never served and had expired by the time of the alleged shooting.

On May 22, the woman received a text message from one of her tenants that included a picture of Harris sitting on the front porch of a residential property she owns in the 9400 block of South Burnside.

After he left, the woman went to the home, intending to file a police report to protect her tenants, Meacham said, according to a transcript of the proceedings.

As she spoke with the tenant who sent her the text, Harris emerged from the street, locked eyes with the woman, pulled out a gun, and started shooting toward her, and the tenant, Meacham continued. Neither the woman nor her tenant were injured because they dove to the ground.

“But for evasive maneuvers, bad aim, or some combination thereof, [these] would be facts more closely related to an ambush killing,” Meacham argued.

This story is made possible by contributions to the Cook County Courtroom Transparency Fund.

Four days after the incident, on May 26, prosecutors dropped the pending felony gun case they filed against him in February. Harris posted a $100 bail deposit to get out of jail on those charges after appearing before Judge Ankur Srivastava, according to court records. He has no criminal convictions.

Assistant Public Defender Gabrielle Christian questioned why it took five months for prosecutors to charge Harris since officials knew where he lived.

The fact that the only witnesses are the two people that Harris is accused of shooting at “turns this into a relative he said/she said situation,” Christian continued, arguing that the only evidence is “five shell casings and two eyewitnesses and a ShotSpotter alert.”

She said Harris helps support his four-year-old daughter, and he helps with after-school programs in the area.

Thomas Harris | Chicago Police Department

Ultimately, Ahmad granted the state’s petition to have Harris detained as a safety threat before trial.

Chicago police detectives sought attempted murder charges against Harris, but the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office rejected the request, according to a CPD report. Prosecutors instead charged him with aggravated discharge of a firearm into an occupied building.

The “not horrible” series

This report continues our coverage of individuals accused of killing, shooting, or trying to kill or shoot others awaiting trial for a felony allegation. 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 awaiting trial for felony allegations 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. 

#1: Chicago man stabbed, beat roommate to death while awaiting trial for burglary, prosecutors say (February 18, 2023)

#2: Attempted murder charge for woman who randomly stabbed victim while on bail for randomly stabbing other people (March 5, 2023)

#3: She tried to kill a woman while on bail for trying to kill yet another woman, prosecutors say (April 7, 2023)

#4: Mayou’llged with killing woman while on felony bail after Chicago cops gather a mountain of video evidence, prosecutors say (April 7, 2023)

#5: Convicted murderer killed 2, wounded 1 while on electronic monitoring for gun possession, prosecutors say (April 18, 2023)

#6: Man killed 1, tried to kill another while on felony bail, prosecutors say (April 29, 2023)

#7: Man shot good Samaritan who went to check on him inside wrecked, smoking car, prosecutors say (May 5, 2023)

#8: 4 people, all with extensive juvenile criminal backgrounds, killed off-duty Chicago cop during armed robbery: prosecutors (May 10, 2023)

#9: Man accidentally shot front seat passenger while handling gun in car’s back seat, prosecutors say (May 23, 2023)

#10: Chicago man shot his brother because he was ‘tired of’ the sibling, prosecutors say (June 3, 2023)

#11: Chicago man killed robbery victim while on electronic monitoring for another robbery case: prosecutors (June 5, 2023)

#12: Man shot at, tried to kill Chicago cops while on parole and felony bail, prosecutors say (June 8, 2023)

#13: Seven-time felon shot a long-time friend, ‘firing round after round,’ while on felony bail, prosecutors say (July 11, 2023)

#14: Man on bail for machine gun possession opened fire on pedestrians, shooting a 16-year-old, officials say (July 13, 2023)

#15: Hitman killed target while on bail for trying to disarm a cop, prosecutors say (July 22, 2023)

#16: Brothers shot two women during family gathering in Bronzeville, prosecutors say (August 3, 2023)

#17: Drive-by shooter killed 1, injured 4, and accidentally shot an accomplice while on bail for machine gun possession, prosecutors say (August 25, 2023)

#18: Man tried to kill 2 Chicago firefighters while on bail awaiting new trial for a 2005 murder case, prosecutors say (September 14, 2023)

#19: 3 charged in armed robbery turned shooting in Homan Square (September 2, 2023)

#20: Woman who stabbed girl to death in the Loop was awaiting trial for robbing Red Line passenger, prosecutors say (October 7, 2023)

2022 “not horrible” cases

2021 “not horrible” cases

2020 “not horrible” cases

2019 “not horrible” cases

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About CWBChicago 6555 Articles
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