Man found guilty of murder of off-duty CPD officer John Rivera in River North

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Jovan Battle was found guilty of first degree murder in the shooting death of off-duty Chicago police officer John Rivera in River North in March. Investigators believe the shooting was a case of mistaken identity.

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Battle represented himself at trial. He is charged along with two others, Menelik Jackson and Jaquan Washington. The three are being tried separately, and Jackson and Washington have not yet gone to trial.

John Rivera

Chicago police Officer John Rivera

Rivera and two other people, a man and woman, were sitting in their vehicle after leaving the Stout Barrel House nightclub on March 23 at about 3:30 a.m. in the 700 block of North Clark Street when two men fired into the vehicle before running off.

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Rivera was shot in the chest, arm and mouth, police said. He was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. A second man, also age 23 and not an officer, sustained wounds to his chest and arm, and was also taken to Northwestern in critical condition. He was sitting behind Rivera.

Investigators said Rivera may have been mistaken for someone in another group that had fought with the suspects hours earlier, or may simply have been targeted because he was Hispanic.

RELATED: 3rd suspect charged in fatal shooting of Chicago Police Officer John Rivera

Police said Rivera died in a final act of bravery: Shielding his girlfriend and other passengers from the gunfire.
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