Suburban man fired shots toward a crowd after Puerto Rican Fest, prosecutors say

Albert Molina (Chicago Police Department)

CHICAGO — Two suburban men face felony gun charges after they were arrested during disturbances at the Puerto Rican Fest in Humboldt Park over the weekend. Prosecutors say one of the men fired shots toward a crowd, but no injuries were reported.

Albert Molina, 20, of Elgin, was ordered detained as a safety threat by Judge Caroline Glennon-Goodman after prosecutors accused him of firing shots in the 2600 block of West North Avenue around 11:20 p.m. Friday.

The festival officially closed for the night more than an hour earlier, but Chicago police were in the area dealing with a large disturbance involving “known Maniac Latin Disciples gang members,” according to Molina’s arrest report. The report did not identify him as a gang member.

Officers heard gunfire nearby, and a sergeant saw a muzzle flash and a bullet impact near him, the report said. At the same time, officers allegedly saw Molina trying to hide between parked cars in an alley near the gunfire.

When they approached, he fled, but they caught him and retrieved a loaded 9-millimeter handgun with an auto-fire switch, according to the report. Auto-fire switches are aftermarket devices that can convert some firearms into automatic-fire machine guns.

Molina’s gun was inside a black bag that had a hole and a burn mark in it, according to the report. Officers said the firearm was still hot to the touch, indicating it had just been fired. They also found one shell casing at the scene.

Prosecutors, who said he has a pending gun case in McHenry County, charged him with endangering others by recklessly discharging a firearm, unlawful use of a machine gun. and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

On Saturday evening, police arrested Marcos Martinez, 30, of West Dundee, during a “10-1” police emergency event near Kedzie and Cortez. Officers heard shots fired in the immediate area and saw Molina adjusting a metal object in his waistband, according to his arrest report.

He ran, but the cops got him. Police said they caught him with a 9-millimeter “ghost gun” equipped with a 30-round ammunition magazine.

Prosecutors charged him with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and possession of a controlled substance. Judge Glennon-Goodman released him to await trial.

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