Two men have been charged in the fatal shooting of off-duty Chicago Police Officer John Rivera, police announced Monday.
Menelik Jackson, 24, and Jovan Battle, 32, each have been charged with first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder, according to a Chicago Police press release. Police say Jackson and Battle fired into a car on Saturday, killing the off-duty officer and “critically injuring a 23-year-old male.”
Chicago Police Department Commissioner Eddie Johnson confirmed at a Monday press conference that shooting suspect Menelik Jackson was involved in a dispute with a group of Hispanic men, and “…in an act of cowardice, Mr. Jackson went to get a gun to settle this petty dispute, which resulted in him murdering the first Hispanic man that he came in contact with,” Johnson said. Police are still seeking a third suspect in the case, according to Johnson.
Rivera, 23, and another male were leaving a nightclub in Chicago’s River North neighborhood when they were approached by two males upon returning to their cars, one of which pulled out a gun and fired killing Rivera, according to Chicago Police’s First Deputy Supt. Anthony Riccio.
Police are pursuing possible hate crime charges in the case, according to Johnson.