LINCOLN PARK — A 23-year-old suburban man who allegedly shot a Chicago Police officer in the face Monday in a struggle outside a busy Lincoln Park shopping center was denied bail during a court hearing Tuesday.
Jovan McPherson, of Elgin, faces several felony charges for shooting the officer around 3:35 p.m. Monday at the North & Sheffield Commons Mall, 1000 W. North Ave., police said.
His charges include attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery of an officer, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon, armed kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint and resisting an officer, according to a police news release.
McPherson was ordered held without bail Tuesday. His next court date is Nov. 9.
The shooting happened after a 21-year-old woman drove McPherson to the city from Elgin to run an errand, prosecutors from the Cook County state’s attorney’s office said.
At one point while she was driving, McPherson became angry with the woman when she spoke with the father of her child, and he started ordering her where to drive, prosecutors said.
McPherson took her cell phone and pressed a gun into her side, at one point threatening to kill her, prosecutors alleged.
As the two approached North Avenue, McPherson suddenly pulled on the steering wheel and forced the woman to exit the expressway, prosecutors said. The woman happened to see the strip mall with a marked squad car parked in it, so she drove into the parking lot, where two officers were sitting inside their car.
The woman told McPherson she was running inside the Ulta Beauty store, but McPherson followed her inside and started causing a disturbance, prosecutors said. The woman asked for help from a store employee, who called the police while another employee went outside to flag down the two officers.
The cops went inside the store, where one officer spoke with the woman and the other followed McPherson outside, prosecutors said.
Outside the store, McPherson ripped the police officer’s mask off, shoved him and placed him in a “bear hug,” prosecutors said. He then re-entered the store, left and got inside the passenger side of the car, sitting with his legs outside the door.
The officer told McPherson that the woman did not want to be near him and tried to de-escalate the situation, prosecutors said.
“I got a gun too,” McPherson told the officer, according to prosecutors.
When the officer asked where his gun was, McPherson replied, “What, you want to fight?” I’m not leaving, this is a good a– gun too b—h.”
The officer was struggling with McPherson for the gun when McPherson pulled it out from underneath his legs and pointed it at the officer, prosecutors said.
The officer, who was staring down the barrel of the gun, grabbed it to push it away from his face, which is when McPherson pulled the trigger, shooting the cop in his cheek, prosecutors said. The two continued to struggle when McPherson fired a second shot that missed.
“You will die,” McPherson can be heard on the officer’s body-worn camera, prosecutors said.
As more police responded, the wounded officer was able to gain control of the gun, prosecutors said. McPherson was removed from the car and arrested.
No police fired their weapons during the altercation, prosecutors said.
The injured officer was treated at Illinois Masonic Medical Center and released from the hospital later Monday, according to reports.
“We’re just grateful our officer is in non-life-threatening condition at this point, and we ask the public to continue their prayers for our officer and all the officers for the city of Chicago Police Department,” police Supt. David Brown said Monday.
Officers were able to respond so quickly because they had been doing extra patrols in response to other incidents, like burglaries in the area, but nothing involving violence, Brown said.
Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) said the shopping center, which was hit in last summer’s widespread looting, is frequently targeted by shoplifting.
Hopkins said he was “angry” over the shooting, which he called a “life-altering” event for the officer.
“Getting shot in the face is no small matter, even if you’re going to live from those injuries and fully recover,” Hopkins said. “The job of policing is no longer a safe job if it ever was, and this is a stark reminder of the danger that these men and women face every day.”
A Lincoln Park resident who did not want to share her full name said she was inside her home across the street when she heard two gunshots.
“About five minutes later, I got a call from my husband that all the streets were blocked and cops were coming down Sheffield toward the hospital,” she said. “If they’re going to shoot a police officer, they’ll shoot anybody, and that’s what gives me the chills.”
The neighbor said she had heard about Ulta being targeted by shoplifters and said crime has gone up in the neighborhood over the past year.
“I’ve lived here for about 15 years and I’ve never been nervous to live in the city,” she said. “But in the last year, I’ve been worried to walk to my car or take my purse anywhere. I’ve been much more uneasy.”
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