2 killed in ‘brazen’ gang-related shooting outside Kankakee County Courthouse, police say
KANKAKEE, Ill. - Two men were killed and another was seriously injured in a shooting caused by "internal gang conflict" outside the Kankakee County Courthouse on Thursday morning, according to the Kankakee Police Department.
Three people — including relatives Miguel Andrade, 23, and Victor Andrade, 26, — were leaving a hearing at the courthouse about 9:15 a.m. when they were approached in the parking lot by a man with multiple weapons, Police Chief Robin Passwater said in a Thursday evening news conference.
The armed man, identified as Antonio Hernandez, 24, opened fire, fatally striking Victor Andrade multiple times and injuring another man standing on a sidewalk nearby, Passwater said.
At the same time, Miguel Andrade went to grab a gun from his vehicle and allegedly began shooting back at Hernandez in a "running gun battle" in the parking lot and lawn of the courthouse, Passwater said.
Police arrived and found Miguel Andrade allegedly with a weapon standing over a fatally wounded Hernandez, Passwater said.
Miguel Andrade was taken into custody while Hernandez and Victor Andrade were pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.
Miguel Andrade, Victor Andrade and Hernandez are all members of the Latin Kings and were engaged in an ongoing internal gang conflict, according to Passwater. Hernandez is believed to be from Waukegan, Passwater said.
The male recovering from surgery in the hospital was not connected to the gang, Passwater said.
A second person was arrested by sheriff’s deputies while leaving the scene of the shooting. Passwater later said that person was not connected to the shooting and was in custody on an unrelated charge.
"Multiple firearms" were recovered from the scene, including a "long gun," which is considered to be an "assault rifle," Passwater said.
Several law enforcement agencies were offering support in the investigation, including Illinois State Police, the FBI and U.S. Marshals Service, he said.
Passwater said the "brazen" attack happened during a busy time of the day when many people were entering and exiting the courthouse, which was closed for the rest of the day.
City of Kankakee Mayor Christopher Curtis told reporters he was thankful there were no more victims. "It could have been a lot worse," Curtis said.
Buildings near the shooting were on lockdown as a precaution, the city said, but authorities later reported that the area was secure.