Chicago shooting: Injured guard wonders why no charges were filed in University Village shooting that injured 4 people on Maxwell Street

CHICAGO– Berrie McCormick is a former Marine who served in Afghanistan.

On Monday, he says, his old training began during a wild shooting at an apartment complex in University Village while working security.

McCormick was hit twice, a 19-year-old man a few yards away was shot 13 times and two men in the street were also injured.

“I just heard a lot of gunshots,” he told the Sun-Times. “When I heard the first ones I drew my gun and took cover, got my partner to safety and fired back.”

He was skinned on the head and on the arm. The teenager was shot while also returning fire, according to a Chicago police report. McCormick believes he hit two of the attackers, who were injured in the 1000 block of South Maxwell Street.

As he recovered from his injuries on Thursday, McCormick questioned why the people he believed attacked him had been released without charge.

“Everyone who was there saw everything that happened,” he said. “They can go back to the streets. I feel like they should have been charged just for having the guns.”

But an official with the state’s attorney’s office said Thursday that what happened that night was far from clear and it was possible that two unarmed men were shot.

The video shows a group of men on the street, but they appear to be unarmed and often walking towards a car when gunfire erupts and they scatter for cover.

McCormick “most likely heard the shots and watched (the group) run through the parking lot,” the official said, adding that McCormick “mistakenly believed they had just shot him.”

The official asked not to be named and a reporter was unable to view the video.

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“The theory is that there was someone else lying in wait who shot them (the group of men), and they run for cover when the security guard sees them and starts shooting at them,” the official said.

Police requested charges against the two injured men, but the state’s attorney’s office denied them, citing the video.

Tandra Simonton, spokesperson for the office, said the evidence provided by police “was insufficient to discharge our burden of proof to press charges at this time, and the police accepted that decision”.

Neither she nor the official detailed all the evidence provided by the police. The dismissal of the charges was first reported by CWB Chicago.

“The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office … will continue to work with the Chicago Police Department as it further investigates this crime,” Simonton said.

McCormick backed his account on Thursday.

He claimed that the camera that apparently took the video produces “grainy” images and “is not constantly recording”.

“When we started there, the property manager showed us (that) these cameras weren’t working very well. They didn’t update the system,” McCormick said.

Responding officers recovered two handguns, including one near the apartment complex, according to the police report. The other was found nearby in the 1000 block of West 14th Street, near where the injured teenager collapsed.

Officers also found “numerous shell casings,” the report said.

Of the two men McCormick believes he shot, the 23-year-old was listed in critical condition at Stroger Hospital, where he underwent surgery for two gunshot wounds to his legs, according to the police report.

He was free on bail at the time, facing charges of gun violence, unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a controlled substance stemming from an October 2020 arrest in Roseland.

He was found with a loaded handgun and 21 bags of crack, according to court records. He pleaded not guilty in this case.

The other injured man, 21, has no record of charges in Cook County. He was treated at Stroger for a gunshot wound to his knee, the report said. After being treated, he was arrested and released.

The teenager was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition and required surgery, so he was unable to speak with detectives immediately.

McCormick acknowledged that detectives told him they were anticipating the decision not to press charges due to concerns about the evidence.

Still, he insisted, “I gave them a lot of information.” And he believes his actions have saved more people from being hurt.

“There would have been children hit because there were people outside,” he said. “There were women, children, everyone outside.”

The video in the player above is from an earlier report.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire – Copyright Chicago Sun-Times 2022.)

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