Motive uncertain in slaying of off-duty police officer in River North
Loop North News

CRIME & SAFETY 700 N Clark St - MAP

(Above) Google Street View of 700 block of North Clark Street.

Update: Two men have been charged with the murder of off-duty Chicago police officer John Rivera and attempted murder of the three other people in the car with Rivera when he was shot in River North on Saturday.

Jovan Battle, age 32, who lives in the 2100 block of South Albany Avenue, about six miles southwest of the Loop, and Menelik Jackson, age 32, of South Holland, Illinois, were each charged with first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder. Jackson was also charged with resisting arrest. They will be in bond court on Monday.

24-Mar-19 – Investigators working a double-shooting in River North early Saturday that left an off-duty Chicago police officer dead and his friend critically wounded are considering the possibility that the men were misidentified by the killer, according to a CPD source.

While stressing that the investigation is ongoing, the source said that police are looking at possible connections to an incident, one hour before the shooting, at the former Rock N Roll McDonald’s.

Just before 2:30 a.m., police responded to the restaurant at 600 North Clark Street after witnesses reported “ten Hispanic gang members on a party bus” beating up two black men.

Almost exactly an hour later, 23-year-old off-duty Chicago Police Officer John P. Rivera, his girlfriend, another off-duty officer, and a friend of Rivera’s left Stout Barrel House & Pizza at 642 North Clark Street for Rivera’s car, which was parked in the 700 block of North Clark Street.

Moments after the four were seated in Rivera’s car, two men approached the vehicle and one opened fire on the driver’s side, killing Rivera and critically wounding his friend in the rear passenger seat, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

Image obtained from Neko Castillo

Rivera was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital after suffering gunshot wounds to the chest, arm, and mouth. The second victim suffered gunshots to the chest and arm. The other off-duty officer and Rivera’s girlfriend were not injured.

(Left) John P. Rivera. Photo provided by Neko Castillo.

The shooter and the other man who approached the vehicle fled on foot and are believed to be at large. The entire incident was captured on at least one city surveillance camera.

Police took a person of interest into custody near the shooting scene about an hour after the incident. CPD Deputy Superintendent Anthony Riccio said on Saturday that the individual in custody is not the shooter.

Police at the scene of the shooting said the suspects were two black males, one of whom wore a gray sweater, black pants, and a black jacket with a large symbol on the back. The other wore a black coat with a red hoodie underneath and blue jeans.

Investigators are also considering the possibility that the offenders were in the area to conduct robberies, but CPD’s chief spokesperson, Anthony Guglielmi, said at midday Saturday that surveillance cameras in the area had captured no images of the two suspects having any sort of “encounter” with Rivera’s party before the shooting. The men made no demands for valuables or the victim’s vehicle, Riccio said.

Rivera lived on the Far South Side of Chicago. He was assigned to the Gresham District.

By CWB Chicago | Loop North News | contactingcwb@gmail.com

Published 24-Mar-19 2:19 AM

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