28 years for woman who shot a man at point-blank range outside a River North bar

Maria Gomez in a 2016 mugshot. | Chicago Police Department; Lynda Sanchez

CHICAGO — When prosecutors charged Maria Gomez with shooting a man at point-blank range outside a River North bar in the summer of 2021, her attorney argued that she acted out of “intense provocation.”

That defense failed to hold up in the long run. Yesterday, she received a 28-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to three felonies before Judge John Lyke.

Prosecutors said Chicago police surveillance footage showed Gomez wearing a leopard print dress as she fired a gun in the 400 block of North LaSalle around 10:21 p.m. on August 29, 2021.

Moments later, the 32-year-old victim walked up to a group of people standing outside Boss Bar, 420 North Clark, and asked for help. He had been shot in the neck.

As three bystanders treated the bleeding man’s injury, Gomez walked up and shot the victim again at point-blank range in his back, according to prosecutors. The bullet plunged through the man’s back, lacerated his liver, and exited through his abdomen, prosecutors said.

Once again, the shooting was captured by surveillance cameras.

Police heard the gunfire and responded to the area. Witnesses directed them to Gomez, wearing a leopard print dress and flip-flops, about a block away. The officers allegedly found a loaded handgun in her purse. They located a shell casing outside the bar and five more on LaSalle Street.

Yesterday, Gomez pleaded guilty to armed violence, which was reduced from attempted murder; aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, which was reduced from aggravated battery by discharging a firearm; and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Lyke sentenced her to 28 years for the armed violence count and five years concurrent for the other two charges, according to court records.

In 2015, Gomez was convicted of misdemeanor battery for biting someone’s finger off during an argument, according to prosecutors. The case was initially charged as felony aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, but prosecutors agreed to downgrade the offense in a plea deal.

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About Tim Hecke 215 Articles
Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com