Chicago PD officer, sergeant charged in Pilsen shooting that wounded unarmed man, CCSA Kim Foxx says

$25K bond issued for Officer Ruben Reynoso, Sergeant Christopher Liakopoulos

BySarah Schulte, Eric Horng, and Christian Piekos WLS logo
Saturday, September 17, 2022
Chicago cops charged in Pilsen shooting that wounded unarmed man
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Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx announced felony charges against a CPD sergeant and officer for a shooting in Pilsen in July.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx announced felony charges against a Chicago police sergeant and officer Friday for a shooting in Pilsen in July.

The pair are accused of abusing their authority.

Officer Ruben Reynoso and Sergeant Christopher Liakopoulos both face three felonies, including aggravated battery of a firearm, aggravated discharge of a firearm and official misconduct, Foxx said.

Chicago police said the officers, who were assigned to the Major Accidents Investigations Unit, were heading to the academy for police training just before 7 a.m. in the 1000-block of West 18th Street when they saw four individuals wearing masks loitering in front of a closed business. That's when CPD said one of the individuals displayed a gun, leading to an exchange of gunfire.

However, Foxx's office said video evidence shows police officers firing first, which contradicts officers' statements that they were fired upon first. Foxx said there were no body-worn cameras during the incident.

"We cannot ignore or stand by acts of unprovoked violence, even at the hands of those who are sworn to serve and protect our community," Foxx said.

WATCH: Foxx announces charges for CPD cop, sergeant in Pilsen shooting

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx announced felony charges against a CPD sergeant and officer for a shooting in Pilsen in July.

No officers were injured, but two men were shot, including an apparent innocent bystander who was grazed in the leg. One individual was taken to a hospital in serious, but stable condition.

If convicted, the officers could face 30 years in prison. Both officers turned themselves in on Thursday night and were given $25,000 bond each during a Friday hearing.

Both men raced into a vehicle from the jail Friday night after each posting 10% of their bond.

Miguel Medina, a man who was shot at by police, has hired an attorney and filed a three-count complaint against Liakopoulos. Medina was not committing any crimes or breaking any laws leading up to the shooting, Foxx said.

"The victim who was shot and injured in this incident was not in possession of a weapon, not did fire a weapon at these two officers," Foxx said.

Medina and an armed juvenile walked toward the officer's unmarked police car. Prosecutors say the juvenile ran away from the car, but Medina continued walking to the officer's vehicle displaying both open hands to Liakopoulos and Reynosa. The officers opened fire, hitting Medina several times.

"As the victim and juvenile approached the vehicle, the juvenile held onto the firearm," Assistant Cook Co. State's Attorney Alyssa Janicki said. "The victim was unarmed and held a cell phone and wine bottle in one hand and his other was empty."

"As a result or the officer's actions, he was shot three times: twice in the back, one bullet approximately a few inches from the spine," said Gregory Kiki, Medina's attorney.

The juvenile who was initially with Medina returned fire. He has not been charged with a crime. The officer's defense attorneys told a judge it's unclear who shot first and they claim the juvenile pointed a gun at Liakopoulos and Reynoso. Foxx said that is not what the video shows.

READ MORE: Chicago police shooting: 2 wounded, including bystander, in Pilsen; 3 in custody, CPD says

On the day of the shooting, CPD Supt. David Brown said the incident was a stark reminder of the dangers officers face on the job.

"They were shot at when they were seated in the car. They get out of the car, and they run toward a person shooting at them, trying to kill them," Brown said at the time.

WATCH: CPD give updated on Pilsen police-involved shooting

So far this year, 36 Chicago police officers have been shot or shot at, CPD Superintendent David Brown said Friday.

Chicago police said as of Thursday evening the officers "have been relieved of their official duties."

A woman walking to work in the area said she saw police shoot a man. She also said she didn't see any of the suspects in the area.

"No, just the cops. At first, I thought it was gang-related, but no. He was by himself... I didn't see anyone waving a gun. He was asking for help: He's like 'help me, help me... this is what y'all do, officer? I don't have nothing on me; I'm right here, man.' And he just had his little hands up in the air, asking for help," said the woman, who did not want to be identified.

Police said three people were arrested, but the man who allegedly fired at police fled the scene, and it's unclear if he was ever taken into custody.

As is standard in officer-involved shootings, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability opened an investigation and the officers involved were placed on administrative duties for 30 days.

COPA said Thursday their investigation into the shooting is still ongoing and reminded the public they have 60 days to release materials from the incident. Those 60 days are up next Tuesday.