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Two Charged With Murder of Off-Duty CPD Officer John Rivera on Clark St Near Huron St, Chicago

Tue March 26 2019 5:44 am  https://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/?p=575641
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Two male offenders have been charged with murder in the shooting death of Chicago Police Officer John Rivera. CBS 2’s Vi Nguyen reports.

Two male offender have been charged in the shooting death of off-duty Chicago police officer John Rivera, 23 near a River North bar near Clark Street and Huron Street about 3:30 a.m. Saturday March 23, 2019. Police initially said the shooting appeared to have been a random act of violence, but have since added the possibility the incident involved a hate crime attack against Hispanics. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Monday the shooting could be treated as a hate crime.

Menelik Jackson, 24, was charged with one felony count of first degree murder, three felony counts of attempt – first degree murder and resisting police after attempting to flee during arrest.

Jovan Battle, 32, was charged with one felony count of first degree murder and three felony counts of attempt – first degree murder.

The male suspects were arrested about 3:25 a.m. Sunday morning, and both male suspects were in court Monday afternoon.

At a press conference Monday, Chicago police officials explained details in the investigation. Police say Jackson and Battle were involved in a fight with a group of Hispanic men who were on a party bus at a nearby McDonald’s — formerly known as the “Rock ‘N’ Roll McDonald’s on Ontario Street.

“In an act of cowardice, Mr. Jackson went to get a gun to settle this petty dispute, which resulted in him murdering the first Hispanic man that he came in contact with.”

— CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson

“Offender Menelik Jackson is seen on video immediately running from the scene and returning a short time later, but the party bus and its occupants had left the area,” said Chief Melissa Staples.

Police say Jackson and Battle drove around in the area, searching for the bus.

An hour later, police say the suspects spotted Rivera and three others exiting the Stout Barrel House and Pizzeria and getting into a car.

“It was at this time, three suspects approached the victim’s vehicle. One was armed with a 40-caliber handgun and fires multiple rounds into the victim’s vehicle,” according to Chief Melissa Staples.

The accused shooter is Menelik Jackson, 24. The co-conspirator is Jovan Battle, 32. Each suspect faces one felony count of First Degree Murder and three felony counts of Attempted Murder. Jackson also faces charges of resisting police after trying to flee during arrest. Both defendants appeared in bond court Monday, March 25, 2019 and were ordered held without bail.

One of the suspects tried to apply to be a Chicago police officer in 2017, but a history of armed home invasion and domestic violence arrests excluded him from getting a job with the Chicago Police Department.

Police say they’re still searching for a third person who was with Jackson and Battle at the scene.

Rivera was sitting in a vehicle in the block of 700 North Clark Street near Huron Street, when two male offenders approached the vehicle. Initially on Saturday, police described one of the offenders fired shots into the car, and that Rivera was shot in the chest, arm and mouth.

Rivera was transported to Level I Trauma Center Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

A 23-year-old man in the vehicle with the officer was also shot and transported to the hospital, where he was listed in critical condition.

Officer Rivera shielded his girlfriend, who was also in the car, when shots were fired.

Officer Rivera’s funeral is scheduled for Friday morning March 29, 2019 at the Church Of Annunciata, 11128 S Ave G in Chicago.

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