Chicago man gets 3 years for robbery and 3 more for accidentally shooting a girl while on bail

Carlos Ocampo (Chicago Police Department)

CHICAGO — Carlos Ocampo was free on a recognizance bond for a pending robbery charge last May when he decided to play with a handgun in the back seat of a car as he rode up Lake Shore Drive near Diversey.

The gun fired, sending a bullet into the back of a 17-year-old girl in the front seat, officials said. Ocampo became the ninth person accused of shooting, killing, or trying to shoot or kill someone in Chicago last year while awaiting trial for a felony. That number has now ballooned to 37.

Yesterday, Ocampo, 22, pleaded guilty to robbery and reckless discharge of a firearm. Judge Margaret Ogarek sentenced him to six years, three for the robbery and three more for the shooting, to be served consecutively.

He and a friend were at North Avenue Beach on May 21, 2023, when they struck up a conversation with a 17-year-old girl and then smoked pot with her, officials said during his bail hearing. Around 6:30 p.m., the men agreed to give the girl a ride home, and they climbed into the second man’s car.

Prosecutors said the driver, who is licensed to own firearms, had a pistol inside a case in the back seat. As the car neared the 2700 block of North Lake Shore Drive, the girl heard the clicking sound of Ocampo putting an ammunition magazine into the weapon and then heard a loud bang, according to prosecutors.

She immediately felt a horrible pain in her back and realized she was bleeding profusely. Chicago police would later find a bullet hole in the back of the passenger seat. Officials said the driver looked back and saw Ocampo holding his firearm in one hand and the ammunition magazine in the other.

According to prosecutors, Ocampo apologized repeatedly and tried to comfort the girl as the driver headed to St. Joseph Hospital. Upon arriving at the hospital, Ocampo ran inside, grabbed a wheelchair, and helped the girl get into the facility.

Meanwhile, the driver drove to the Town Hall (19th) District police station, 850 West Addison. There, he told officers about what happened and directed them to the firearm, which was still inside his vehicle.

The girl was transferred to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center for treatment. She suffered a broken pelvis and intestinal damage, prosecutors said. She underwent surgery and spent time in the intensive care unit.

Prosecutors said Ocampo initially denied shooting the girl but later admitted that he accidentally pulled the trigger.

In November 2022, Ocampo was charged with a suburban robbery and went home the same day on a recognizance bond. He was on bond at the time of the shooting.

His parole date has not been set, but both sentences will be reduced by 50% for good behavior, and he will receive credit for time spent in custody since his arrest.

Ocampo also had a pending misdemeanor case for resisting arrest at the time of the shooting. Judge Nicole Castillo found him not guilty last October.

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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