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Army vet off-duty cop left paralyzed after shot trying to break up fight in Chicago

Chicago Police. (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Police/TNS)

An off-duty Chicago police officer is permanently paralyzed from the waist down after being shot trying to break up a bar fight in the Beverly neighborhood last weekend, authorities said.

Chicago police Superintendent David Brown said in a news conference Tuesday that Officer Danny Golden, who joined the Police Department in February 2016, is still in the hospital and “has a long road ahead of him.”

Demetrius Harrell, 28, and Bryant Hayes, 22, both of Chicago, and Justen Krismantis, 22, of Chebanse, Illinois, appeared in bond court Tuesday before Judge Charles Beach, who ordered all three men to be held without bail. Hayes and Krismantis were both charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. Harrell was charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm, according to the proffer.

Golden, 31, sustained a single gunshot wound to the middle of his back from the shooting, which stemmed from a bar fight early Saturday, while another victim, a 24-year-old man, was shot in the leg, according to the assistant state’s attorney’s proffer. A GoFundMe started for Golden said his younger brother was the person who was hit in the leg, receiving a graze wound.

“That situation just speaks to the occurrence of gun violence in our country,” Brown said. “Guns should not be available to individuals who shouldn’t have them. Guns should not be used to settle arguments or disagreements. Chicago’s communities cannot and will not be held captive by senseless gun violence.”

The three men were seen on surveillance video leaving Brewbakers, 10350 S. Western Ave., and going to Sean’s Rhino Bar & Grill, 10330 S. Western Ave., at 2:23 a.m. Saturday, according to the proffer. A short while later an argument started between the men and several other people inside the bar. The argument turned into a physical fight, which spilled onto the street, and Golden stepped in to try to break it up.

The three men were later seen on video running southbound on South Western Avenue with others chasing them, and Golden was seen walking southbound after them.

The fight continued with the three men and a few others in the area of South Artesian Avenue and West 104th Street. In the video, Krismantis was seen running down the street to his car and grabbing something from the passenger side. When he returned to the area, no one was fighting anymore, and the other people involved were walking away.

The video allegedly shows Krismantis giving Hayes a gun, and Hayes pointing it in the direction of the people walking away, according to the proffer. Hayes allegedly fired the gun, an automatic, multiple times, striking Golden and the 24-year-old man. The three men went back to their cars, where Hayes allegedly handed the gun to Harrell, who pointed the firearm at the others and fired more shots.

Police officers recovered 19 .40-caliber shell casings from the scene of the first shooting and three shell casings from the second one.

Police tracked the men’s cars and took Krismantis and Hayes into custody late Saturday. Harrell was arrested on Monday.

Hayes was charged with a separate, second charge of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon when he was arrested Saturday after he was allegedly found with a .40-caliber gun in his waistband. Hayes has a firearm owner’s identification card but not a concealed carry license.


© 2022 Chicago Tribune

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