Andrew J. Williams / photo from Elgin police
Updated: February 27, 2014 6:40AM
ELGIN — A Carpentersville man has been charged with the gang shooting of five people outside a party earlier this month.
Andrew J. Williams, 25, was taken into custody Friday and charged with five counts of aggravated battery-discharge of a firearm, Elgin police said. Bail on the Class X felony charges was set at $1 million.
He is accused of using a handgun to shoot five people early the morning of Jan. 12 in the 300 block of North Street.
Police said they were called to a home there about 3:10 a.m. and found four people suffering from gunshot wounds. All four had non-life threatening injuries. Police learned a fifth person also had been shot and drove himself to Presence St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin for treatment of injuries also determined to be non-life threatening.
Last week, police said two women and one man injured in the shooting had been released from the hospital, while two men continued to receive treatment at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.
The victims, who are all Elgin residents, had just left a large party that was held in the 200 block of North Street, police said.
Detectives from Elgin’s Police Department’s Gang Crimes Unit investigated the shooting, interviewing more than 50 witnesses.
They were able to identify Williams as the suspected shooter, and a warrant for his arrest was issued Thursday, according to a release form the police department.
He was taken into custody without incident about 10:10 a.m. Friday in the 100 Block of South Grove Avenue,
“We recognized immediately how important it was to make an arrest given the boldness of an individual to fire into a crowd on a public street,” said Elgin Police Chief Jeffrey Swoboda. “I am extremely proud of our Gang Unit Detectives and all officers involved who worked so hard and persistently to put this brazen shooter behind bars. We will continue to combat gang crimes aggressively and tenaciously.”
Swoboda gave the Elgin City Council an update on recent shootings — including the one Jan. 12 — at Wednesday’s City Council meeting, and indicated then that an arrest in the case was pending.
The city has seen three shooting incidents since Dec. 29, he noted, but added that wasn’t necessarily a sign of increased crime in Elgin.
“We have gang members who live in Elgin; they do irrational things that we can’t predict,” Swoboda said.
His officers, however, are also very good at putting people in jail for those crimes, he added.
The shootings have included incidents Dec. 29, Jan. 12 and Jan. 18, Swoboda said.
One common denominator in the events seem to be time — in the early morning hours — and as parties were letting out nearby.
Officers have been on “party patrol” Swoboda said.
Officers are not crashing parties at 8 p.m., but checking areas at 3 a.m. where parties have been ongoing, he said.
Over the years, he noted, Elgin has seen homicides occur in relationship to parties.
Correspondent Janelle Walker
contributed to this story.