Updated: December 2, 2012 2:12PM
ELGIN — A 17-year-old Elginite has been charged with firing six or seven gunshots when a party of some 50 people got out of hand on Hamilton Avenue early Sunday.
Police said Wednesday that Victor Garcia of the 0-100 block of National Street was arrested on one count of reckless discharge of a firearm and two counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, all Class 4 felonies. He also was charged with possession of a firearm by a street gang member, a Class 2 felony.
A judge set his bail at $100,000 and he was assigned a Nov. 14 court date.
According to reports, police were summoned to the 200 block of Hamilton for a fight call at about 1:20 a.m. Sunday. While officers were en route, dispatchers on the phone with the 911 caller could hear gunshots in the background. Officers arriving on scene said they found 50 to 60 people fleeing in various directions. Officers were able to ascertain that the crowd had come from a party being held in a home nearby.
A woman at the home said several people had “crashed” the party she had been staging for her daughter and when one shouted the name of a gang, an argument erupted, apparently between opposing gang members. When she ordered the man alleged now to be Garcia to leave, she reported, he flashed a gun that he was carrying in his waistband, someone shouted “Gun!” and everyone ran out into the street.
Police Cmdr. Glenn Theriault said that witnesses tracked down later by investigators told police a second altercation then began in the street between the opposing gang members. During that dispute, witnesses said, Garcia was seen firing the gun into the air an estimated six or seven times. Theriault said another person in the crowd then hit Garcia in the head with a bat.
He said Garcia fled after he was struck but was located by patrol officers and taken to a hospital, where he was treated for a head injury.
Theriault said subsequent investigation by the department’s gang crimes unit identified Garcia as the gunman and he was arrested without incident Monday evening at his home.