When police responded to an Englewood row house where more than a dozen people were wounded when gunshots were fired during a memorial party early Sunday, they spotted Marciano White walking down the street clutching a black bag, a Cook County prosecutor said Monday.
Inside the bag, they found a .357-caliber pistol and several pay stubs belonging to White. He admitted he was at the party — but said he hid in a closet when he heard gunfire. In the chaos that followed, White said he emerged from the closet, spotted the pistol on a staircase, and grabbed it as he fled the house because he was worried about “the situation and the neighborhood.”
As of Monday, White was the only person arrested in connection with the shooting, though Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said at a bond hearing for White that investigators have yet to test whether the gun in White’s bag fired any of the shots that wounded a total of 13 people.
White, who has two prior convictions on drug offenses, was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and as an armed habitual criminal, and was ordered held on $300,000 bail.
White’s lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Scott Finger, noted there was no proof White shot at anyone during Sunday’s melee. White’s two prior convictions were for non-violent offenses from more than 10 years ago, Finger said.
“I haven’t heard any eyewitness that says he’s the one that did the shooting,” Finger said.
Finger told Judge Susana Ortiz that White’s family had pulled together $5,000; White will have to post $30,000 to secure his release.
Police have said the shooting started amid a dispute inside the house in the 5700 block of South May at a party honoring the memory of Lonell Irvin, a 22-year-old man shot dead in April during an attempted carjacking in the Loop.
The first shots were fired in the house, and two people appeared to shoot “randomly” at fleeing guests, Chicago Police Chief of Patrol Fred Waller told reporters Sunday.
A total of 13 people, ranging in age from 19 to 48, were wounded, including four people who were in critical condition immediately after the shooting. Those in critical condition included a 16-year-old boy.
“It’s a chaotic scene. Listening to the radio, you can hear people who didn’t even know that they were shot were responding as they went home. So I’m imagining some people had some graze wounds and didn’t realize they were shot,” Waller had said.
It was not clear if White was one of the persons of interest Waller said were questioned in the hours after the shooting. The gun found in the bag held five live rounds of ammunition and one spent shell, but Murphy said investigators had yet to determine if the gun matched any of the shells fired at the scene. Results of a gunpowder residue test on White, which could determine whether he had fired a weapon, also were pending, Murphy said.
Police have said that the shootout seemed to have been a “personal-type dispute inside the party that spilled out into the street,” CPD spokesman Tom Ahern said Sunday.
At a press conference later Sunday morning at the University of Chicago Medical Center, where six of the victims were taken, Mayor Lori Lightfoot described the shooting as a “terrible tragedy and, frankly, an incredible act of cowardice,” and called on witnesses to come forward.
“Someone in that room knows exactly what happened,” Lightfoot said.