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Man faces attempted murder charge after election-night shootout in South Shore

Flamingo Jones

Flamingo Jones was in court Thursday to face charges of attempted murder after an election-night shootout with police. | Illinois Department of Corrections

A 38-year-old man recently paroled on a weapons conviction was ordered held without bail Thursday after being charged with attempted murder in connection with an election-night shootout with police in South Shore.

Flamingo Jones has been charged with attempted first-degree murder of a police officer. He appeared in court in the Leighton Criminal Court Building in a wheelchair, wearing hospital scrubs.

About 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, plainclothes officers in an unmarked police vehicle were investigating a person wanted on an arrest warrant when they spotted Jones in the 7400 block of South Bennett Avenue, according to Cook County prosecutors.

Jones “made eye contact” with the officers, then fled, Assistant State’s Attorney Jamie Santini said. The officers, wearing badges and ballistics vests identifying them as police, followed.

Prosecutors did not say whether Jones was the initial target of the investigation.

An officer caught up to Jones on foot, saw him holding a gun and ordered him to drop it, Santini said; instead, Jones fled through a gangway.

When Jones jumped over a fence while still holding the gun, the officer chasing him “feared for his life” and fired, but did not strike him, Santini said.

The officer later saw Jones emerge from a gangway onto Bennett Avenue, still holding the gun, Santini said.

Jones raised the gun toward the officer and the officer fired at Jones again, Santini said.

Jones fell, fired at the plainclothes officer, then at uniformed officers arriving at the scene, Santini said. Those officers fired back; Jones, shot in his feet, was taken into custody, Santini said. A gun was found nearby.

Jones, his public defender said, had attended Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago and worked in the food service industry. Most recently, he worked as a packaging manager to support his three young daughters.

Jones was on parole at the time of the shooting for a 2012 weapons charge and had been released last August, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records.

Prosecutors said Jones had an extensive criminal background, including a conviction for a 2005 charge of aggravated battery to a police officer for which he was sentenced to three years in jail.

Judge David Navarro called the charges “very disturbing,” saying the street became “… an opening firing range.”

Jones looked briefly back into the courtroom gallery but made no attempt to speak as he was wheeled from the courtroom by an sheriff’s deputy.

His next court date is scheduled for March 20.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said officers involved in the incident will be placed on administrative duties for 30 says.

A spokesman for the Civilian Office of Police Accountability said that agency is investigating.