Chicago man violated gun probation by getting another gun and shooting a man to death, prosecutors say

CHICAGO — James King was arrested in Calumet Park on Christmas Eve 2021 and charged with illegally possessing a firearm that had a defaced serial number. He got a huge break, though.

In August 2022, a judge gave him “first-time offender weapon probation” and 50 hours of community service after he pleaded guilty to the charge. If he completes the two-year probation successfully, the charge will be dismissed, and he won’t have a felony conviction on his record.

That potentially life-changing possibility is in jeopardy now because prosecutors have charged him with getting another gun and using it to murder a man on the Far South Side.

The shooting occurred around 8 p.m. on May 14 in the 12300 block of South Union.

Drake Cooper, 37, was walking down the street when King, 20, stepped out of a car and ran up behind him, according to a detention petition filed by prosecutors. They said King opened fire, shooting Cooper eleven times.

James King | Chicago Police Department

The petition said people who were in the car King got out of identified him in a Ring doorbell video that shows part of the crime.

A warrant was already out for King’s arrest at the time of the shooting. A Cook County judge issued it on April 7 for violation of probation, according to court records. He also has an outstanding warrant for a gun charge in Indiana, officials said.

Chicago police officers arrested King at his home on November 27 to face a charge of first-degree murder.

Judge Barbara Dawkins granted the state’s detention request, so he will remain in jail while he awaits trial.

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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