The year 2016 came in with a bang on North Riverside’s east end when at least two men fired as many as 23 rounds of ammunition into the air as midnight struck on Jan. 1, according to police.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office has charged Anthony A. Payne, 27, and Donte L. Lyons, 28, both of Chicago, with one felony charge each of reckless discharge of a firearm.

In addition, the 28-year-old man renting the home in the 2200 block of Northgate Avenue where the shots were fired has been charged with misdemeanor counts of possessing a firearm without a valid Firearms Owner Identification card and possession of ammunition without an FOID card.

There were no reports of anyone injured by the bullets, which reportedly were fired into the air about 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 1, nor was there any report of a bullet striking any property.

However, someone called police after seeing a subject firing several rounds from an upstairs window of the Northgate Avenue home and police reported finding 23 spent shell casings from .40-caliber, .45-caliber and 9 mm weapons at the scene.

Nineteen shell casings were found in the rear yard and along the south side of the home, one was found in a neighbor’s yard, one in the basement and one in the kitchen.

When police arrived at the scene, 15 people between the ages of 23 and 47 were inside the house, where a New Year’s Eve party was being held.

Payne reportedly was discovered hiding in an upstairs bathroom. In the master bedroom, also upstairs, police reported finding a .45-caliber with an empty clip on the arm of a chair. In another upstairs bedroom, police reported recovering a .40-caliber handgun with an empty magazine under a mattress. The weapon reportedly belongs to Lyons.

Two 9 mm pistols were discovered in an upstairs crawl space, according to police.

According to the report, police conducted an Instant Shooter ID test on Lyons, which tested positive for having recently fired a gun. Lyons reportedly told police he’d fired the weapon earlier that night at a party on Chicago’s West Side. 

Later he reportedly told police he fired one .40-caliber round into the air while standing in the backyard of the North Riverside house. 

Payne also reportedly told police he fired several shots into the air from the .40-caliber handgun while standing just outside the south entrance to the home. An Instant Shooter ID test administered to Payne also came back positive, according to police.

Police administered gunshot evidence collection tests to four others at the party. That evidence was sent to the Illinois State Police Crime Lab.

As of Monday afternoon, Payne was being held without bond at Cook County Jail awaiting a Jan. 5 preliminary hearing at the Maybrook courthouse.

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