$1 million bail for 2 men who allegedly grabbed for guns before being wounded in separate police shootings

Jayden Higgs, 23, was shot in the head on Thursday in Back of the Yards. Raymond Comer, a 37-year-old felon, was struck multiple times on Friday when an officer fired 11 shots on the Near West Side. They both remained hospitalized.

SHARE $1 million bail for 2 men who allegedly grabbed for guns before being wounded in separate police shootings

A convicted felon faces a host of felony charges after being shot by a Chicago police officer on the Near West Side on Aug. 12, 2022.

Sun-Times file photo

Bail was set at $1 million Sunday for two men who remained hospitalized after being wounded last week in separate police shootings in which they each allegedly grabbed for guns.

Jayden Higgs, 23, of Hazel Crest, was shot in the head late Thursday after struggling with an officer responding to gunfire in Back of the Yards, prosecutors said during his initial court hearing. Before being shot, Higgs allegedly struggled with an officer while trying to pull a handgun with an extended magazine from his waistband.

Raymond Comer, a 37-year-old felon from West Garfield Park, was then struck in his arm and back when an officer fired 11 shots at him during a stop a day later on the Near West Side, prosecutors said during a separate hearing. Comer had previously been seen holding a gun on a police POD camera, and he allegedly grabbed it before being shot.

The officers involved in the shootings have been placed on 30 days of administrative leave as the Civilian Office of Police Accountability investigates. Both shootings were captured on body-worn cameras, but there’s no audio in the footage from Comer’s shooting.

During Higgs’ bail hearing, prosecutors said officers were drawn to the 5300 block of South May Street around 11 p.m. Thursday when they heard multiple gunshots and received an alert from the city’s gunshot detection system. 

Four people were on the block, including Higgs, who was seen with a gun on his waist, prosecutors said. Two other people ran off holding their waistbands. 

The officer who eventually opened fire patted Higgs down and felt the gun, prosecutors said. During an ensuing struggle, the officer grabbed Higgs from behind and tried to gain control of the gun, which Higgs was trying to grab.

As the cops tried to take him into custody and ordered him to drop the weapon, he pulled everything but the barrel out of his pants, prosecutors said. The officer then shot him in the head.

A handgun with an extended magazine was found under Higgs’ body, with the barrel still in his waistband, prosecutors said. The gun had eight bullets, including one in the chamber.

Higgs was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition, police reported at the time. Prosecutors said he was hospitalized Sunday.

Higgs is charged with one felony count each of aggravated assault of a peace officer and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, authorities said.

He was on bond in an unrelated gun possession case and had been given permission to live in Georgia, prosecutors said. He also has a pending case in Will County in which he’s charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

Less than a full day after Higgs was wounded, around 2:30 p.m. Friday, Comer was seen on a police POD camera holding a gun in the 2100 block of West Adams Street, prosecutors said. As tactical officers drove to the area, another cop monitoring the camera watched Comer place the gun into his pocket and get into a Pontiac Grand Am.

When the officers arrived, Comer moved toward the center console of the Pontiac, and the officer who opened fire hopped out of the police cruiser, prosecutors said. After looking “wide eyed” in the officer’s direction, Comer pulled the gun from his waistband and started to raise it.

The officer then went to close Comer’s door, which had been left ajar, and saw him continuing to lift the gun, prosecutors said. That’s when the officer fired 11 shots, striking Comer multiple times.

A handgun was found on the front passenger seat with one round in the chamber, prosecutors said. 

Comer, who also apparently uses the alias Albert Fancher, faces felony counts of aggravated assault of a peace officer, armed habitual criminal, unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a controlled substance, authorities said.

He has a lengthy criminal history, with felony convictions for attempted murder, aggravated discharge of a firearm, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and a narcotics offense, court records show.

Prosecutors asked Judge Susana Ortiz to hold both Comer and Higgs without bail, but she denied the requests because they weren’t present in court. Instead, she required both men to post $1 million and ordered them placed on electronic monitoring if they’re released.

Meanwhile, Higgs’ bail was revoked in the pending gun case from 2021 in which he was found with a rifle and another gun modified to fire automatically. 

His next hearing was set for Wednesday, while Comer’s next court date was scheduled for Thursday.

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