Man who took gun from mass shooting scene (then got arrested with another gun while on bail) gets probation

CHICAGO — A Chicago man who took a handgun from the scene of a mass shooting in River North last November, then got charged with possessing another gun while on bail, was given “first-time weapon offender probation” for both cases this week. If he completes the two-year probation successfully, the charges will be dismissed, and he won’t have a felony conviction on his record.

Jimmy Silva’s problems began early on November 7 after four people were shot, one fatally, after being ejected from Hush nightclub in the 300 block of West Chicago Avenue.

Silva, 20, was not involved in the shooting, but prosecutors said he exited a nearby SUV and picked up a firearm that one of the club’s security guards dropped. Silva returned to the SUV, which was occupied by several other people, and then pointed the gun out the vehicle’s window as it left the crime scene, prosecutors said during his initial bail hearing.

Chicago police surveillance camera operators allegedly secured video of Silva picking up the gun and waving it out of the car. He was not accused of firing the weapon.

CPD officers found the SUV in the 800 block of North Orleans and saw Silva hiding behind a nearby vehicle, prosecutors said. Police detained Silva and found a handgun in the wheel well of the car where he was hiding. He was not carrying a gun when police arrested him.

Jimmy Silva and the SUV. | Snapchat; Chicago Police Department

Officials said he posted a $2,000 bail deposit and went home with a daily curfew and an ankle monitor.

Then, on May 2, while the River North case was still pending, Chicago police again arrested Silva for illegal gun possession.

Prosecutors said patrol officers saw him clutching his pocket as they passed. Believing he may have a gun in his pocket, the cops pulled a U-turn and watched him walk into a store in the 300 block of North Laramie. The cops went inside, patted him down, and found a loaded 9-millimeter handgun in his pocket, Assistant State’s Attorney Victor Aberdeen said during Silva’s bail hearing on May 3.

Silva took the first step toward putting it all behind him on Thursday when Judge Sharon Kanter handed him first-time weapon offender probation for both cases.

It’s unclear how two gun cases can both be a defendant’s “first time.”

Kanter ordered Silva to obtain a GED, submit to random drug testing, and perform 80 hours of community service. He must be enrolled full-time in school or employed full-time for the duration of his two-year probation, the judge ordered.

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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