Bail was set at $1 million for a 24-year-old man accused of shooting two Chicago police officers last week after dropping a gun in front of one of them while waiting in line at a fast food restaurant on the West Side.
Judge Kelly Marie McCarthy said she couldn’t hold Kailon Harris-Caldwell without bail, as prosecutors requested, because he was hospitalized and didn’t appear in court.
He faces two felony counts of attempted first-degree murder in connection with the shooting early Friday, as well as felony and misdemeanor drug charges.
About 3:30 a.m. Friday, Harris-Caldwell was standing in line at the Original Maxwell Street hot dog stand, 3801 W. Harrison St., when two officers arrived in a marked police vehicle, according to Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Michelle Papa. After one of the officers stepped into line, Harris-Caldwell dropped a handgun with an extended magazine.
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Harris-Caldwell then picked up the gun and fired at the officer, grazing his head, Papa said. As Harris-Caldwell ran off through a parking lot, he shot the second officer multiple times as the officer sat in the vehicle.
The officer who was shot first broadcast a description of Harris-Caldwell, who was seen running and was later found hiding under a truck in a commercial lot and detained, Papa said. A gun was found nearby.
Harris-Caldwell was found with six bags of suspected cannabis and 26 bags of suspected heroin, Papa said. As a result, he was charged with a felony count of possession of a controlled substance and a misdemeanor count of manufacture or delivery of cannabis.
Video surveillance captured the shooting and Harris-Caldwell’s attempt to flee, Papa said. Shell casings recovered at the scene matched the bullets found in the gun that was recovered.
The officer who was grazed received six staples in his head before being released from a hospital, Papa said. The other officer was treated for multiple wounds to his left leg and was discharged from a hospital Saturday night.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Police Supt. David Brown both decried the attack last week, with Lightfoot saying it serves as “a stark reminder of the incredible dangers that our police officers face on a daily basis in order to keep our city safe.”
“It also underscores that there are way too many people carrying illegal firearms and proves why diligent law enforcement action against illegal firearm possession is essential to our public safety,” Lightfoot said in a statement.
Harris-Caldwell has a pending case in Florida related to an armed home invasion in 2018, Papa said. His alleged accomplice was shot by a sheriff’s deputy after opening fire with an assault rifle, according to a local news report.
Before that, Harris-Caldwell was convicted of drunken driving in South Bend, Indiana, and jailed for 30 days.
An assistant public defender declined to present mitigating evidence supporting Harris-Caldwell after a police officer testified that he was hospitalized for “back problems.”
Judge McCarthy said she couldn’t consider Papa’s request to deny Harris-Caldwell bail because he wasn’t present, though she noted the same request could be made at his next court date on Tuesday.