Video shows Chicago police open fire first in Pilsen shootout
CHICAGO - Newly released video shows Chicago police officers fire the first shots in a July shootout that left two people wounded, including an innocent bystander, in the Pilsen neighborhood on the city's Southwest Side.
Two police officers are facing charges in connection with the on-duty shooting.
Officer Ruben Reynoso, 42, and Sgt. Christopher Liakopoulos, 43, were both charged with aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated discharge of a firearm and official misconduct. They could face a maximum of 30 years in prison, according to State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.
The officers are accused of lying about being fired upon first.
Their "claims were contradicted by videotaped evidence," which shows they actually fired first, Foxx said at a news conference last week.
On July 22 just before 7 a.m., police say two officers spotted four people in masks loitering near a closed business in the 1000 block of West 18th Street.
The officers stopped their car for an "investigatory stop" and engaged the group before both officers started shooting. One of those in the group pulled out a gun and began exchanging gunfire with the officers.
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Two people were hurt, 23-year-old Miguel Medina and a 36-year-old male innocent bystander who suffered a graze wound to his leg but is in good condition.
Medina was taken to Stroger Hospital with gunshot wounds.
At a bond hearing for the officers earlier this month, prosecutors had said the pair were on their way to CPD headquarters for a training course when they stopped to investigate a group of people in the 1000 block of West 18th Street. Medina and the 17-year-old, who had a satchel across the front of his body, approached the officers’ unmarked car as the officers talked to the group.
Medina was standing at the passenger side window of the car, showing officers both his hands, when Reynoso extended his arm from the window of the squad car and pointed a gun, prosecutors said. Liakopoulos also reached for his gun and leaned across Reynoso as both officers opened fire, striking Medina in the back and leg, according to prosecutors.
COPA said they have another video that shows the juvenile firing at the officers but they are unable to release it because it involves a minor.
Police had originally arrested a 17-year-old boy and a 25-year-old man after the incident, but the two aren’t currently facing charges.
Foxx said an investigation is continuing into the involvement of the minor in the shooting incident. There is no police body camera footage of the incident, Foxx said.
Both Reynoso and Liakopoulos have been relieved of their official duties. They surrendered themselves at a police station Thursday night, Foxx said.
A woman, who did not want to be identified, was walking to work heard the shots and saw a man lying on the sidewalk.
"I'm telling you I thought it sounded like the Fourth of July. I thought it was gang-related for the amount of shots that were fired because it was just so many. I'm like wow, they want this man dead," she said.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.