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Daily Journal
     August 27, 2021      #66-239 KDJ

“This is a tragic day for the City of

“Este es un día trágico para la ciudad de

By Jeff Bonty

UPDATED: Shootings were result of a gang's internal fighting, police say

The shootings that occurred near the south side of the Kankakee County Courthouse this morning just before 10 a.m. were the result of a gang's internal fighting. 

All four people involved are members of the Latin Kings, Kankakee Police Chief Robin Passwater said.

“The gang has been having an internal struggle for a while,” he added.

After “piecing together what we believe took place this morning,” city and county officials came together for a second press conference today to discuss details of the incident that left two men dead and a third man wounded.

Passwater identified the two men killed as Victor Andrade, 26, Kankakee, and Antonio Hernandez, 24, of Waukegan.

The third gunshot victim is a 28-year-old man whose identity has not yet been released. He is being treated at a Kankakee hospital.

Kankakee police have arrested Miguel A. Andrade, 23, Kankakee. He is the cousin of Victor Andrade.

Kankakee County Sheriff’s online inmate records listed the preliminary charges for Miguel Andrade as murder and possession of a stolen firearm.

Passwater said Victor Andrade, Miguel Andrade and the 28-year-old gunshot victim had left the courthouse around 9:45 a.m. They were there to attend a court date for Victor Andrade.

Armed with multiple weapons, Hernandez approached the three men as they were walking to a parking lot south of the courthouse and began shooting, he said. He fatally shot Victor Andrade on East Merchant Street and wounded the 28-year-old male on the sidewalk, Passwater said.

Miguel Andrade shot Hernandez, who was pronounced dead at the scene, Passwater said.

A Momence police officer, who was at the courthouse this morning on an unrelated matter, confronted Miguel Andrade and took him into custody, according to Passwater. He had an assault weapon when he was taken into custody, he said.

He is currently in custody at the Jerome Combs Detention Center in Kankakee.

There is another man in custody after police say he ran from the area of the shooting this morning. He is being held on unrelated charges and is not believed to be involved in the shooting at this time.

Past violence at courthouse

The last time there was an incident involving violence at the courthouse came on April 29, 2002. That day, an inmate was stabbed as he was being led out of the back of the courthouse following his court date before Kankakee County Circuit Judge Kathy Bradshaw-Elliott.

Marlon Watford, who at the time was charged in a triple homicide, was being led to a van for transport to the county jail.

Watford was standing trial on charges that he gunned down three young men in September 1997, according to a 2003 Daily Journal story about the incident. One of the victims was the teenage brother of Bryant Price, who police said stabbed Watford at the courthouse.

Price was charged with attempted murder, ultimately pleading guilty to aggravated battery Nov. 5, 2002.

As for Watford, he recovered from his injuries and was found guilty of murder in June 2002. He is serving life in prison at Menard Correctional Center in Randolph County.

KANKAKEE — Two men are dead and a third is in serious condition following a shooting outside the Kankakee County Courthouse this morning.

In an afternoon press conference held two blocks away from where the shootings took place, Kankakee Police Chief Robin Passwater said two people are in custody and multiple firearms have been recovered.

The two victims were both Hispanic men in their 20s, Passwater said.

The third man was in surgery and the extent of his injuries were unknown at the time of the 12:45 p.m. press conference, Passwater said.

Passwater ended the short press conference by saying, “This is a tragic day for the City of Kankakee.”

Kankakee Mayor Chris Curtis told the Daily Journal that this was a "targeted" shooting. 

At approximately 9:45 a.m., police responded to a shots fired call on East Merchant Street on the south side of the courthouse, Passwater said.

As officers responded, one suspect surrendered to a Momence police officer who happened to be at the courthouse on an unrelated matter, according to Passwater.

A second suspect who fled from the scene was located and taken into custody by a Kankakee County Sheriff’s deputy while responding to the call, Passwater said.

He said investigators are currently interviewing many witnesses and gathering as much information as possible.

Kankakee police are coordinating the investigation with the assistance of the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Department, Illinois State Police and FBI. Local police agencies are also assisting.

Jeff Bonty is a reporter for The Daily Journal. He can be reached at jbonty@daily-journal.com and 815-937-3366.

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