Are Gun Battles Between "Mutual Combatants" More Or Less Legal In Chicago?
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From the Chicago Sun-Times news section:

Prosecutors reject charges against 5 suspects in deadly gang-related gunfight in Austin: ‘It’s just like the Wild West’

The suspects are members of two warring factions of the Four Corner Hustlers street gang who allegedly shot it out Friday morning in the 1200 block of North Mason Avenue, where more than 70 shell casings were found.

By Tom Schuba Updated Oct 4, 2021,

UPDATE: Lightfoot warns city could be sent ‘into chaos’ after Kim Foxx’s latest decision to reject charges

Five men linked to a deadly gang-related shootout Friday in Austin were released from custody after prosecutors declined to charge each of them with a pair of felonies, including first-degree murder, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

The brazen mid-morning gunfight, which left one shooter dead and two of the suspects wounded, stemmed from an internal dispute between two factions of the Four Corner Hustlers street gang, according to an internal police report and a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation.

The source said police sought to charge all five suspects with murder and aggravated battery. By Sunday morning, a Chicago police spokeswoman acknowledged the suspects had “been released without charges.”

In a statement later Sunday, Cristina Villareal, a spokeswoman for the Cook County state’s attorney’s office, explained that prosecutors had “determined that the evidence was insufficient to meet our burden of proof to approve felony charges.” Police officials agreed with the decision, Villareal added.

While she wouldn’t specify what other evidence prosecutors needed to file charges, the police report acknowledged that victims of the shootout weren’t cooperating with investigators.

But the report also framed the state’s attorney’s office’s decision to decline charges in a different light: “Mutual combatants was cited as the reason for the rejection.” Mutual combat is a legal term used to define a fight or struggle that two parties willingly engage in.

Last week, Cook County prosecutors came under fire after reportedly making a similar argument after a teenager was stabbed to death during a fight in Schaumburg. The family of the victim, 18-year-old Manuel Porties Jr., later told WGN that prosecutors specifically said they weren’t charging the 17-year-old suspect with murder because the fatal fight amounted to mutual combat. …

After circling the block and coming back, at least three individuals jumped out of the Chargers and began to shoot into a brick house using handguns equipped with “switches” that made the weapons fully automatic, noted the source and report. Members of the Jack Boys who were inside the home then began firing back.

Two of the Body Snatchers were left wounded, including an unidentified 32-year-old man who was later pronounced dead at a hospital, according to the report and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. A 29-year-old man aligned with the Jack Boys was also struck.

While the source confirmed that more than 70 shell casings were found outside the home, that likely doesn’t reflect the number of shots that were fired from inside.

The gunfight, which was caught on a police POD camera, came to a halt when a police cruiser pulled up to the block, according to the report and the source. The Body Snatchers then fled in the Chargers, leaving their fatally wounded accomplice behind.

One of the cars was later “found engulfed in flames nearby,” the report states. The other was used to drop off the non-fatal gunshot victim at West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, where it was later spotted by local police.

“Mutual Combatants” sounds like the name of an “Escape from New York”–type movie set in Chicago in the near future.

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