Wounded guard questions why no charges filed in shootout that injured 4 people, but prosecutors say evidence is not there

Berrie McCormick

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Berrie McCormick is a former Marine who served in Afghanistan.

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

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

“I just heard a whole lot of gunshots,” he told the Sun-Times. “When I heard the first few, I drew my weapon and I got cover, I got my partner to safety, and I returned fire.”

He was grazed in his head and arm. The teenager was shot while also firing back, according to a Chicago police report. McCormick believes he hit two of the attackers, who were left wounded in the 1000 block of South Maxwell Street.

As he recovered from his wounds Thursday, McCormick wondered why the people he says attacked him were released from custody without charges.

”Everybody that was over there saw everything that happened,” he said. “They get to go back out on the street. I feel like they should’ve been charged on just having the guns.”

But an official in the state’s attorney’s office said Thursday it’s far from clear what happened that night, and there’s a possibility two unarmed men may have been shot.

Video shows a group of men on the street, but they appear to be unarmed and walking to a car in a lot when gunfire erupts and they scatter for cover.

McCormick “most likely heard the gunshots and observed [the group] running through the lot,” said the official, adding that McCormick “mistakenly believed they had just fired at him.”

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

“The theory is that there was someone else lying in wait who fired upon them [the group of men], and they are running for cover when the security guard sees them and starts shooting towards them,” the official said.

Police sought charges against the two wounded men, but the state’s attorney’s office rejected them, citing the video.

Tandra Simonton, a spokeswoman for the office, said the evidence provided by police “was insufficient to meet our burden of proof to file charges at this time, and the police agreed with this decision.”

Neither she nor the official detailed all the evidence provided by police. The rejection of 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 they further investigate this crime,” Simonton said.

McCormick stood by his account on Thursday.

He claimed the camera that apparently took the video produces “grainy” pictures and “doesn’t constantly record.”

“When we first started out over there, the property manager showed us [that] these cameras don’t really work that well. They haven’t updated the system,” McCormick said.

Responding officers recovered two handguns, one of them near the …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times


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