Man accused of firing 19 shots at Chicago LEOs held without bail

A 22-year-old is facing charges of attempted murder and a slew of other felonies

By Madeline Buckley
Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — A judge Tuesday ordered a man accused of firing more than a dozen shots at Chicago police officers to be held without bail, saying the officers “truly put their lives on the line” when they found themselves in a barrage of gunfire in a park on the Far South Side over the weekend.

Kamari Pleasant, 22, is facing charges of attempted first-degree murder and a slew of other felonies in connection with the attack about Saturday night in the 10400 block of South Union Avenue in the Fernwood neighborhood. A 17-year-old boy whose name has not been released because he is a juvenile also faces charges in the shooting.

Pleasant’s attorney said he does not have much money for bail and asked that he be released on electronic monitoring, but Judge John Lyke Jr. responded bluntly: “He won’t need any money for bond.”

Prosecutors alleged that Pleasant, while on probation for a gun-related conviction, went to Fernwood Park to go “shoot up rivals,” and then fired 19 shots at officers who responded to try to prevent the shooting. At least three other people were involved in the shooting, prosecutors said: the 17-year-old, a getaway driver who has not been charged and a fourth person who is at large. The 17-year-old appeared in juvenile court on Monday and was also ordered held in custody.

Shortly after 10:10 p.m., three officers received a message that three males were exiting a red Nissan Maxima and heading toward the park to “do a shooting,” prosecutors said.

The officers found the Nissan and its driver near the park, and saw three more people exit the park. The officers made eye contact with the people, prosecutors said, and activated their emergency equipment. The three people then ran back into the park.

At that point, one of the officers began chasing them, and then was fired upon by all three people, prosecutors said. The first officer took cover, while another officer also began chasing the people. The third officer drove to pick up the other two officers, who were trying to avoid the gunshots.

Now in a squad car, the officers stopped the Nissan and detained the driver, prosecutors said. After a grid search, police arrested Pleasant and the 17-year-old. The third gunman got away.

The driver identified Pleasant and the 17-year-old, but only supplied a nickname for the third person who got away, prosecutors said.

Officers found Pleasant hiding under a car and a pile of leaves, prosecutors said. They found a .40-caliber Glock that had been converted to an automatic weapon nearby. Pleasant was found to have gunshot residue on his hands, according to prosecutors.

The 17-year-old was found lying in a stairwell beneath a porch, with another weapon found in the vicinity.

The officers did not return fire, Chicago police said, and no one was hit.

Investigators collected 19 shell casings that matched the gun found beside Pleasant, prosecutors alleged. They also found six shell casings from a different weapon.

Court records show Pleasant was on a 24-month probation following a conviction Nov. 2 on a felony charge of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in a vehicle and without a state firearms card. Pleasant was arrested about 1:50 a.m. March 10 on Albany Avenue just north of Madison Street, initially on suspicion of unlawful possession of a handgun, according to records.

Lyke said the officers pursued the armed attackers Saturday, despite feeling “bullets whizzing past them.”

“At that point, (the officers) didn’t do what most human beings would do and get the heck out of there,” he said. “These are the real heroes.”

(c)2020 the Chicago Tribune

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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