40 years for man who opened fire on cops in downtown Chicago

Edgardo Perez and a frame from the shooting video (Chicago Police Department, Provided)

CHICAGO — The man who opened fire on a Chicago police officer in downtown Chicago was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Wednesday.

Two men who were in the car with Edgardo Perez struck plea deals. But Perez rejected the state’s offers and took the case to a bench trial earlier this year. Judge Aleksandra Gillespie found him guilty on all ten counts, including four counts of attempted murder. Gillespie rolled all ten counts into a single count of attempted murder and sentenced him to 20 years. Then, she added a 20-year sentencing enhancement for using a firearm during the crime.

Officials said Perez was the front-seat passenger in a freshly hijacked Honda Accord when Chicago police officers stopped the vehicle near Columbus and Lower Wacker Drive around 8:48 p.m. on January 26, 2022.

An officer’s bodycam was rolling as he approached the Accord’s passenger side on foot and ordered the vehicle’s occupants to show their hands, prosecutors have said. The footage allegedly showed Perez firing a handgun toward the officer at close range.

Prosecutors played the officers’ bodycam footage during Perez’s trial. Perez even took the stand, with an officer who observed his testimony saying Perez claimed he was “too drunk to know what he was doing.”

A nearby surveillance camera captured the traffic stop in its entirety.

A closer look at the camera footage shows smoke emanating from the passenger window toward the officer. Prosecutors said in 2022 that Perez fired a gun through the closed passenger-side window, sending shards of glass into the cop’s eye. While the bullet did not strike the officer, he was treated at Rush Hospital for eye injuries. Another officer was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for a rapid heartbeat.

Two other officers immediately opened fire on Perez, who was struck in the chest, arm, and leg. A bullet also grazed his forehead, leaving a long, red divot that was visible in his mugshot.

Less than a year after the incident, two other men who were in the car with Perez pleaded guilty to felonies. The driver, Noel Centeno, pleaded guilty to possessing a stolen motor vehicle, and the man in the car’s back seat, Jesse Sanchez, pleaded guilty to aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, according to court records.

About Tim Hecke 333 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