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No bail for man accused of shooting two patrons at Northwest Side bar

Efrain Rivera, 50, was charged with three counts of attempted murder in the Dec. 23 shooting that wounded two men, ages 26 and 59.

The Leighton Criminal Courthouse. Sun-Times file

Bail was denied Saturday for a man accused of opening fire last month at a Northwest Side bar and wounding two patrons.

Efrain Rivera, 50, pulled out a gun and brandished the weapon during an argument with a different person on Dec. 23 at the Question Mark Bar in the Montclare neighborhood, Cook County prosecutors said.

When another patron stepped in and punched Rivera, he opened fire and shot the intervenor in the abdomen, prosecutors said.

As the man who Rivera had initially been arguing with ran for the door, Rivera fired several more rounds, but missed his target and struck another patron in the thigh who had been sitting at a nearby table, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors did not provide ages for the victims in court, but police previously said the wounded men were 59 and 26 years old.

Rivera chased after the man who was originally his target and caught him outside the bar when the man fell the ground, prosecutors said. As he stood over the man, he allegedly pulled trigger again, but the gun was out of ammo.

Rivera fled the area before officers arrived, but members of the bar staff told investigators that they knew Rivera lived in an adjacent building and identified Rivera in photo arrays, prosecutors said.

Rivera was arrested Thursday outside his home and charged with three counts of attempted murder. He has two prior felony convictions, including a 2009 unlawful use of a weapon conviction, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors asked the judge to hold Rivera without bail during his hearing Saturday, noting that one of the victims in the shooting was an “unintended target” of Rivera’s “reckless conduct.”

Rivera’s defense attorney argued that the weapon used in the shooting hadn’t been recovered.

The judge sided with prosecutors and set Rivera’s next court appearance for Wednesday.