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‘It wasn’t a shooting range’: Man ordered held on charges he opened fire outside Wrigley Field

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A five-time felon on parole for a federal weapons conviction was ordered held without bond Monday on charges he opened fire down a busy street across from Wrigley Field earlier this month after he was targeted by an unidentified gunman.

Raphael Hammond, 37, was charged with being a felon in possession of a handgun stemming from the incident May 5 outside the Lucky Strike on West Addison Street.

A criminal complaint made public over the weekend alleged Hammond was standing outside the popular bowling alley bar with friends shortly after 1 a.m. when a man wearing a white face covering and hooded sweatshirt jumped out of a dark-colored SUV and fired at Hammond at point-blank range.

Hammond was not hit, but two friends — a 36-year-old man and 37-year-old woman — were wounded by the gunfire. Building security footage showed Hammond running into the Lucky Strike as the gunman got back into the front passenger seat of the SUV, which sped east on Addison, according to the complaint.

Seconds later, Hammond could be seen on video coming out of the establishment with a gun in his hand and opening fire down Addison at the fleeing SUV. He then walked a few doors west on Addison and hid the .38-caliber gun in a planter between a 7-Eleven and the entrance to an apartment complex, the complaint alleged.

The gunman who shot at Hammond is still at large, and the motive for the attack was not known, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors asked that Hammond be held in custody pending trial, noting he has five felony convictions, most recently a federal conviction of being a felon in possession of a handgun for which he was sentenced in 2018 to 40 months in prison.

In that case, he admitted he fled a traffic stop in 2016 and threw a loaded gun into a residential yard during a high-speed chase. Records show Hammond’s three-year term of supervised release in that case was due to expire later this year.

His lawyer, Patrick Boyle, asked for home detention, noting Hammond was himself the victim of a violent crime in the attack outside Wrigley. He said Hammond saw the gun belonging to his friend on the ground when he ducked into the Lucky Strike and made a split-second decision to defend himself with it.

“My client felt he had absolutely no choice,” Boyle said. “He was not seeking a confrontation.”

But U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Gilbert said Hammond’s background showed he was a danger to the community.

“Either you find trouble or trouble finds you,” Gilbert said, noting court records showed Hammond himself had been shot at least 12 times in the past on four separate occasions. “That’s trouble with a capital ‘T.’”

The judge also said that regardless of what danger he was in that night, Hammond’s choice to grab a gun and fire in a busy nightlife district was a “flagrant danger to the community.”

“It wasn’t a shooting range,” Gilbert said.

jmeisner@chicagotribune.com

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Jason Meisner , 2024-05-20 23:53:56

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