Chicago man fired 80 rounds into the air to welcome 2024, prosecutors say

CHICAGO — The new year is off to a rough start for Mauricio Guillen Lopez, the Back of the Yards resident who prosecutors say rang in 2024 by firing 80 rounds into the air from three firearms while carrying $13,000 worth of meth in his pocket.

He will be sitting in the Cook County jail until at least January 8, after Judge Mary Marubio ordered him detained during a New Year’s Day court hearing.

At about midnight on January 1, Chicago police responded to a pair of ShotSpotter gunfire alerts, one at Lopez’s home address and the other at the address next door, according to CPD records. A 911 caller also reported seeing a man going to a black Honda Civic to reload a firearm and then discharging the weapon in a yard, Lopez’s arrest report said.

Officers arrived to discover a black Honda parked at one of the ShotSpotter addresses, “expended shell casings strewn about the backyard,” and in an adjacent lot, the report continued.

Mauricio Lopez | Chicago Police Department

They also saw Lopez, 37, emerge from the rear door of his basement apartment with an AR-style rifle, the officers claimed. The cops said they detained Lopez and found $13,200 worth of suspected meth in a baggie in his pants pocket, along with $975 cash.

After getting his permission to enter the basement apartment, the officers allegedly found a shoe box containing boxes of ammunition of various calibers, a Colt .45 on the bed, and loaded ammunition magazines. They also discovered a Kimber 9-millimeter handgun on the living room couch, police said.

Prosecutors told Judge Marubio that Lopez admitted to discharging a firearm.

The judge agreed to keep him given his “total disregard for public safety by using an AR-style rifle and 2 other firearms to discharge 80 rounds in an urban area… on New Year’s Eve when many people stay out late.”

He is charged with reckless discharge of a firearm endangering others, possession of a controlled substance, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, and two additional weapons-related counts.

‘Just trying to celebrate New Years bro’

While Lopez may be accused of providing 2024 with the most—uh—enthusiastic welcome, he is not the only person arrested for allegedly firing weapons to welcome the new year.

Also facing charges is 43-year-old Jermaine Mitchell. Chicago cops said they saw him running with a gun moments after they heard a gunshot in the 800 block of North Monticello around 11:15 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

“I’m sorry bro… I was just trying to celebrate New Year’s bro,” Mitchell told the officers, according to his arrest report. “I just ruined my whole life bro.”

The arrest report said Mitchell was found carrying a ghost gun equipped with a 31-round extended ammunition magazine. He also had another ammunition magazine in his pants pocket, they said. Officers found one spent shell casing in an alley at a location provided by ShotSpotter, according to the report.

Judge Marubio released Mitchell from custody on New Year’s Day.

He is charged with reckless discharge of a firearm endangering others, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, and related firearms counts.

Caught on camera

Here are some videos posted this week that reportedly show people firing guns to “celebrate” the new year in Chicago:

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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