Murder charge filed after gun found during traffic stop is linked to December shooting

CHICAGO — Having Chicago cops find a gun in your car is bad. Having lab tests link the gun to a recent murder is really bad. But prosecutors say that’s what happened to 23-year-old Ernan Fernandez, who is now facing first-degree murder charges.

The shooting occurred on the morning of December 4 in the 2800 block of South Drake.

Emner Lopez Garcia, 21, was waiting outside for his brother when someone shot him in the leg and abdomen, police said.

Detectives rounded up video footage that showed Fernandez driving his red Dodge Durango from his house toward the murder scene. Another video showed him running from the area while wearing a distinctive jacket, prosecutors allege. He returned home six minutes later.

Prosecutors said an acquaintance identified Fernandez in a video image. His phone location data put him in the area of the murder at the shooting, too, according to the allegations.

Ernan Fernandez (Chicago Police Department)

But the real clincher came on Christmas Day when Chicago cops pulled Fernandez over in the 3400 block of South Pulaski for a traffic violation. Prosecutors say the police found a gun in Fernandez’s car during the stop, although he was not immediately charged with the crime.

Investigators sent the gun out for tests that determined it was the gun used to kill Fernandez, according to prosecutors. Armed with that evidence, the police secured an arrest warrant and took Fernandez into custody.

Judge William Fahy detained him to await trial.

He is charged with first-degree murder and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. He has no other adult arrests in Cook County.

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