2 charged in Gary ATF shooting, 1 on the run; $25K reward offered

GARY, Ind. (WLS) -- One man was killed and two men were charged in the shooting of an undercover ATF agent in Gary, Indiana Tuesday. A fourth man was taken into custody.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Bernard Graham, 25, of south suburban Calumet City, who is considered to be a fugitive. Graham escaped after the shooting and is believed to be armed and dangerous.

Graham is a convicted felon described as black male with brown eyes and black hair. He is about 5 ft. 7 in. tall and weighs around 190 pounds.

Both Graham and Blake King, 19, of Chicago, are charged with assaulting a federal officer and carrying and discharging a firearm in the furtherance of a crime. U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II of the Northern District of Indiana announced the charges at a press conference Friday.

The maximum penalties for these crimes is life in prison. King is in custody.

Kirsch said the suspects were trying to engage in the illegal traffic of firearms purchased in Indiana and transported to Illinois.

Also in custody is a 29-year-old man who has not yet been charged. Gary resident Raymon Truitt, 28, was also involved in the incident, but was shot and killed at the scene.

Kirsch said the undercover operation started on the South Side of Chicago, continued to south suburban Lansing and ended in Gary Thursday afternoon.

The 29-year-old was trying to illegally sell handguns to an ATF informant operating out of Chicago's Little Village neighborhood, Kirsch said. The man met with the informant in a parking lot in Lansing, before traveling with two undercover ATF agents to the residential area of 5th Avenue and Kentucky Street in Gary to make a transaction.

Kirsch said the man introduced the informant to Truitt, who was allegedly his firearms supplier. Graham and King were also at this location. The informant told the two men he had $2,000 to buy the weapons.

Truitt told the informant to check out the guns Graham had. Kirsch said Graham lifted his shirt and showed the informant a gun in his waistband.

When Truitt asked for the money, the informant went back to the car the undercover agents were sitting in to get it. According to Kirsch, King then handed the informant a bag that allegedly contained firearms but was instead full of pots and pans.

Kirsch said King pulled the informant's shirt over his head and Truitt and Graham opened fire on the undercover agents, striking one of the agents in the right side of his chest and left arm. The undercover agents shot back and Truitt was killed in the shootout.

The man and Truitt are convicted felons, Kirsch said.

The charges against Graham and Smith were filed by criminal complaint in the Northern District of Indiana. Kirsch said his office plans to seek indictments from a federal grand jury that may or may not include additional charges.

The ATF agent's condition stabilized overnight. Celinez Nunez, the special agent in charge of the ATF's Chicago division, said the agent is expected to make a full recovery.
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