Sunday, March 24, 2019

Former CPD candidate questioned in slaying of off-duty officer, wounding of second man in River North

Officer John P. Rivera | Neko Castillo
Multiple sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, have stated that a former candidate for the Chicago Police Department is being questioned in connection with Saturday morning’s slaying of off-duty Officer John P. Rivera, 23,  and the critical wounding of another 23-year-old man in River North.

CWBChicago is withholding the name of the man being questioned because he has not been charged with any wrongdoing in connection with Saturday's events.

Official records show the man was arrested at the Chicago Police Academy in July 2017 to face charges of home invasion with a firearm, unlawful use of a weapon in a vehicle, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, resisting or obstructing police, and violating an order of protection.

The outcome of the court case was not immediately available, however, Illinois Department of Corrections records do not show anyone with the man’s name as a current inmate or parolee.

Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted tonight, “CPD will not confirm, deny or comment on any information while interrogations are underway & people of interest need to be questioned. Unofficial sources commenting on this case stand to undermine a criminal investigation into the murder of an officer and we won't stand for that.”

Rivera and a friend were shot as they sat in Rivera’s car with a second off-duty CPD officer and a female friend after leaving Stout Barrel House, 632 North Clark Street, around 3:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Police have said that two men approached the driver’s side of Rivera’s vehicle and opened fire without making any demands or statements. The other two passengers in Rivera’s car were not injured.

The entire incident was captured on at least one city POD camera. The offenders were reportedly directed to Rivera's car by a vagrant who was walking in the area.

About an hour before the shooting, police were called to a nearby McDonald's to handle a report of 10 Hispanic men on a party bus who were fighting with two black men.

According to an unofficial summary of events shared with CWBChicago on Saturday, investigators were working to determine if the two black men from the McDonald's incident may have remained in the area to search for people they believed were involved in their attack.

On Saturday, Chicago police knew of no motive for the shooting and openly speculated that the case was one of misidentification stemming from an earlier incident at a nearby fast food restaurant.

But the new revelation that a person being questioned in the case may have been a candidate for CPD at around the same time that Rivera attended the academy raises new questions about what happened or the extent of this tragedy's coincidences.

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