Bail denied for accused firefighter shooter
A 29-year-old man is charged with four felonies after an on-duty Chicago firefighter was shot and injured while trying to fight a car fire on the Northwest Side earlier this week, police said.
Hollis Williams, 29, of the 4400 block of North Francisco Avenue, is charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, aggravated battery of a firefighter, aggravated battery of a police officer and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in connection with the Feb. 2 shooting. He also faces multiple traffic violations.
During a hearing Saturday afternoon at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, a judge denied bail for Williams, according to Cook County state’s attorney’s office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton. He is scheduled to appear in court again on Tuesday.
When officers tried to arrest Williams on Thursday, he rammed a sergeant’s car with the vehicle he was in and then ran over an officer’s foot, said Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan. Williams then got out of his car and ran away before he was caught.
“Whenever a public safety employee, particularly a firefighter, is attacked, we not only take it very seriously, we look at it as an attack on the whole fabric of society,” interim Chicago police Superintendent Charlie Beck said at a Saturday news conference announcing the charges.
The incident started when firefighters were called to a car fire around 1 a.m. in the 3400 block of West Wilson Avenue in the Albany Park neighborhood, police said.
Detectives learned that two people had set the car on fire, hoping to draw out individuals who lived in the building, Deenihan said. Four people came out of the building, including a woman who got into another vehicle and began driving away.
Two unknown people began shooting at the woman, and two men who were with the woman returned fire, hitting the firefighter in the crossfire, Deenihan said.
Police said Williams was one of the shooters who came out of the building with the woman. Police are still searching for the others involved in the shooting, Deenihan said.
Speaking at the news conference, Fire Commissioner Richard C. Ford II said the firefighter is home and in “good spirits.” The 36-year-old firefighter had been shot in the leg.