KANKAKEE – An internal gang conflict was reportedly at the heart of a shooting at the Kankakee County Courthouse early Thursday morning.
Following an afternoon of piecing together events that unfolded earlier in the day, Kankakee Police Chief Robin Passwater addressed the media tonight.
According to the Kankakee City Police timeline, three men including 22-year-old Victor Andrade and 23-year-old Miguel Andrade and another individual had gone into the Courthouse for a hearing. As the group left, they were approached by 24-year-old Antonio Hernandez.
Hernandez reportedly had multiple weapons and began firing on the group.
Hernandez shot and killed Victor Andrade in the street and another individual who’s now been hospitalized. During the exchange, Miguel Andrade retrieved a firearm from his vehicle and began firing at Hernandez which took place in a footrace across the south lawn of the Courthouse and into the parking lot.
During the shootout, Miguel Andrade shot and killed Antonio Hernandez.
Immediately following the shooting, a Momence Police Officer approached Miguel Andrade who surrendered without incident to the officer.
“It’s shocking for me. For us to see that.” Chief Passwater said during a press conference Thursday night. “The mire fact these individuals would come to a courthouse where disputes are supposed to be resolved, civilly, and in the rear courthouse start shooting at individuals. I think it just shows what’s going on nationwide right now, that there’s no respect for other human life and a complete disregard for law enforcement,” Chief Passwater said.
Miguel Andrade is now in custody at the Kankakee County Detention Center.
All of the individuals involved are reportedly associated with the same gang.
“It’s a scary thing,” Mayor Chris Curtis said after thanking acting authorities who responded to the incident. ‘I’m thankful that there weren’t more victims today. With the shooting that occurred, I’m very, very thankful it was just these three victims so far, there were a lot of people that were in the Courthouse at this time.’
Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Kankakee City Lodge 102 President Kris Lombardi praised officers who responded to the scene this afternoon.
“When shots were fired today, area law enforcement personnel did not hesitate. They immediately ran into harm’s way to secure the scene and protect the law-abiding residents of Kankakee. The officers of the Kankakee, Bradley, Bourbonnais, Momence and Manteno Police Departments, the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Department, and Illinois State Police truly demonstrated what it means to protect and serve, rushing toward danger to keep their fellow citizens safe. These law enforcement officers showed today that the profession is more than just wearing a badge.”