Off-duty Chicago cop was allegedly intoxicated when he shot 3 men in Blue Island bowling alley’s lounge, prosecutors say

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A Chicago police officer was drunk at the Burr Oak Bowling Alley in Blue Island on Tuesday when a brawl led to him shooting one man before the same bullet pierced two other men, including the manager, a prosecutor said Friday.

Cook County Judge Luciano Panici set Kyjuan Tate’s bond at $2 million Friday in a bond court hearing that was broadcast live on YouTube. Tate, whose police powers have been revoked was also placed on no-pay status with the police department.

Tate, 27, was drunk in the bowling alley’s bathroom when a 42-year-old man tried to go into the men’s bathroom, Kathryn Morrissey, a Cook County assistant state’s attorney, said at the virtual hearing at the Markham courhouse. Tate blocked him because Tate’s sister was in the bathroom, Morrissey said.

The 42-year-old man, who Morrissey said had not been drinking that night, went outside to start his car then tried to use the restroom again and was again blocked by Tate, Morrissey said.

The two men started arguing and Tate lifted his sweater to show a pistol, she said. The man’s 52-year-old cousin tried to diffuse the situation, then Tate swung at the 52-year-old. About 20 people from a birthday party for the 42-year-old man’s fiancee watched as a brawl among the three men spilled out into the bowling alley’s lounge, Morrissey said.

The 42-year-old man punched Tate, knocking him to the ground then turned away from him. Tate then got his gun from his sister who he’d handed it to earlier and shot the man behind his right ear, Morrissey said.

The same bullet also struck the 52-year-old man in the left side of his chest exiting his upper back and severing a vein and artery, Morrissey said. The same bullet then struck a third victim, the bowling alley’s manager, 33, in his left hand.

The 42-year-old grabbed Tate and they struggled over the gun as people from the party fled the scene, Morrissey said. The manager called 911 and the 52-year-old man fell and bled from the chest, she said.

Tate took the gun and ran out to the parking lot, Morrissey said. Surveillance video showed Tate and his sister trying to leave the scene and the 42-year-old man and a witness trying to stop them, Morrissey said.

Blue Island police detained Tate and his sister in the parking lot and recovered Tate’s Glock 43 from his car.

Inside the bowling alley a witness tried to slow the 52-year-old’s bleeding by using a T-shirt until Blue Island police placed a medical patch on the wound, Morrissey said. That man was then transported to Advocate Christ Medical Center where his condition was stabilized. He has not been able to move his left arm, Morrissey said. The 42-year-old was treated at an urgent care center. He lost a piece of his ear and is experiencing hearing loss and ringing in that ear, Morrissey said.

The bowling alley manager was also transported to Advocate Christ where the bullet was removed from his left wrist, Morrissey said.

Morrissey asked Judge Panici to hold Tate without bail.

But Tate’s defense attorney, Tim Grace, said that was unnecessary as Tate had no previous criminal history and stayed on the scene after the incident. Tate was a probationary police officer, a new hire, according to Chicago police.

“This is a self-defense case,” Grace said. “This is a case it needs to go to trial.”

Grace said Tate did what he was trained to do as a police officer by putting the weapon in a safe location. Tate was placed on administrative status and will be placed on no-pay status, Grace said.

“He was surrounded by three people and he at that point engaged as a police officer and took police action based upon what evidence I came to understand,” Grace said. “There’s no evidence that the that trigger was intentionally pulled. There’s no evidence at all that the single bullet that was fired was directed at any of the other two individuals.”

Tate joined the Chicago Police Department in the spring of 2021 and graduated from the academy in October. He was assigned to the 5th district which covers the Calumet area.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is investigating the incident.

Tate is due in court again on Jan. 24.

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