Weeks before man was charged with killing wife and daughter, cops reported him a ‘clear and present danger’ but did not seize gun

The case has raised questions about why Jose Alvarez still had his gun when he allegedly killed his wife Karina Gonzalez and his daughter Daniela Alvarez just after midnight on July 3.

SHARE Weeks before man was charged with killing wife and daughter, cops reported him a ‘clear and present danger’ but did not seize gun
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Karina Gonzalez, Daniela Alvarez, Jesus Emmanuel Alvarez

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Jose Alvarez was angry and sweating, a gun within reach, as he talked to Chicago police officers who had been called to the Little Village neighborhood for a disturbance late last month.

The officers took defensive positions as they spoke to Alvarez through an open window, according to a police report. They finally left when he refused to come to the door and turned off the lights.

Ten days later, authorities say Alvarez used the gun to kill his wife and 15-year-old daughter and wound his 18-year-old son, who ran to a neighbor’s home for help.

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It is not clear why the officers chose not to seize the gun when they were concerned enough to later file a “clear and present danger” report about Alvarez, according to records. The police department had no immediate comment.

The case raises other questions about why Alvarez still had his gun on July 3 when he allegedly killed his wife Karina Gonzalez and his daughter Daniela Alvarez.

The day before the officers visited the home, a judge had issued a protection order requiring him to stay away from his family and away from the home. There’s no indication in the police report that the officers knew about the order when they found Alvarez still in the home.

A day after their visit, June 23, Cook County sheriff’s deputies tried to serve the protection order at the home but found no one there.

On the same day, the Illinois State Police officially revoked Alvarez’s FOID card, as required by law when an order of protection is issued. The state police said it notified both Chicago police and the sheriff’s office about the revocation the next day, June 24, eight days before the shooting.

While state police are primarily responsible for removing guns, it relies heavily on local agencies. The Sun-Times could find no record of anyone attempting to seize Alvarez’s gun.

The only contact between Chicago police and Alvarez after the protection order was issued appears to be June 22, when officers answered a call of a “domestic disturbance” at Alvarez’s home. He met the officers at the window.

He complained his wife wanted him to be a “hit man” and mentioned he had a FOID card and a gun. The officers “began to position themselves in a matter for safety” as Alvarez began talking about “multiple subjects not regarding the nature of his call.”

Alvarez gave the officers his FOID card and when they tried to give it back, shut the window.

The officers filed a “clear and present danger” report with state police for “further investigation,” but the state police said they have no record of receiving it. The department did not answer questions about whether the officers ran his name for any warrants or orders against him.

Getting guns away from people whose FOID cards have been revoked has been a growing problem in Cook County, where there is a backlog of nearly 30,000 outstanding cases.

There are about 731,000 FOID card holders in the county. Of those, more than 37,000 have been revoked. Of those revoked, 74%, or roughly 27,000, are non-compliant, meaning they likely still have their weapons.

“We talk about gun violence and preventing gun violence, and we actually have something that we see, like this, that could have actually been prevented,” said state Rep. La Shawn Ford, who along with Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, has pushed for increased funding for FOID enforcement.

“Hopefully, this sounds the alarm louder for the state to put more money into this program,” Ford said.

It was Alvarez’s increasingly threatening behavior that brought Gonzales to court on June 21 to get the order of protection. She cited his drinking, drug use and threatening behavior.

Gonzalez and her children went to stay with a relative but returned to the home on June 26 after Alvarez agreed to go to rehab, according to prosecutors.

On July 3, Alvarez began accusing his wife of cheating on him, as he had done in the past. Gonzalez told him to stop and joined her children on a couch in the living room, according to prosecutors.

Alvarez’s son told him to “stop or he would call 911” and walked toward his room. Alvarez then rushed past him and grabbed his gun. He shot Gonzalez and Daniela, then returned to the dining room and fired underneath the table where his son was shielding himself with a chair.

Gonzalez was shot eight times and pronounced dead at the scene. Daniela was shot in her face and forearm and died after being taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, police said.

The son was hit in the ankle and ran out of the apartment.

When officers arrived at the scene Alvarez opened the door for them, prosecutors said. The Glock was recovered from the top of his bed with one round in the chamber and more rounds in the magazine, prosecutors said. A second magazine was recovered near the handgun.

Alvarez was charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and aggravated battery from discharging a firearm. He was ordered held without bond Thursday.

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