North Riverside police have charged 22-year-old Juan C. Avalos with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated discharge of a firearm, alleging that Avalos fired several shots toward a group of people near the intersection of Traube and Hainsworth avenues during a fight between rival gang members on July 10.
Police Chief Anthony Garvey said that his department had been attempting to bring Avalos in for questioning since the day of the shooting. On Oct. 4, Stickney police responding to suspicious vehicle complaint, arrested Avalos and detained him during the ensuing traffic stop on an outstanding Cook County warrant.
The warrant was related to a Dec. 14, 2009 incident in which Avalos was charged by North Riverside police for illegal possession of ammunition. Avalos was convicted in that case, said Garvey, but had violated the terms of his sentence, leading Cook County to issue the warrant. The warrant was issued about two weeks after the July shooting in North Riverside.
Stickney police turned over Avalos to North Riverside police, who had issued an area-wide bulletin that they sough to question him in connection with the July 10 shooting.
Avalos appeared in court Thursday, where a Cook County judge set his bond at $75,000.
North Riverside police, along with officers from the West Suburban Directed Gang Enforcement task force (WEDGE) and the West Suburban Major Crimes Task Force (WESTAF) forensics unit, had been searching for Avalos for the past three months.
Police have not recovered the weapon used in the July 10 shooting. While no one was wounded by the gunshots, one bullet lodged in the wall of a garage in the 2400 block of Hainsworth Avenue. Police reported finding several 9 mm shell casings in two areas in the alley between Hainsworth and Northgate avenues.
While Avalos gave police a Lyons address as his residence, Garvey said Avalos has also lived at addresses in Chicago, Berwyn and North Riverside. When police visited the Lyons address after Avalos’ arrest, the person who answered the door said he had never heard of Avalos, Garvey said.
“We really don’t know where he’s been staying,” Garvey said.