Man charged with shooting ATF agent in Back of the Yards

CHICAGO — A Chicago man has been charged with shooting an ATF agent in Back of the Yards last week.

Ernesto Godinez, 27, turned himself in about 8:30 p.m. Monday. He appeared in federal court Tuesday on charges of assaulting an officer with a deadly weapon. If convicted, Godinez faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

He will held without bail until a May 17 hearing.

Authorities said the ATF agent was ambushed near Davis Square Park about 3:15 a.m. Friday while trying to replace a court-approved tracking device on a car. He was shot in his face and rushed in critical condition to a nearby hospital. The agent is expected to recover.

Three separate cameras captured the shooting and a person who matches Godinez's description fleeing the scene, federal prosecutors said. Police found shell casings in the 4300 block of South Hermitage Avenue.

The ATF agent is the fourth member of law enforcement to be shot in Back of the Yards in the past year. Two officers from the Deering district were shot last May; a third officer was shot in July. All three survived.

Local and federal police searched homes and executed multiple search warrants Friday near the 4500 block of South Hermitage Avenue. Authorities continued to sweep the neighborhood Saturday in armored tactical vehicles with guns drawn.

An award for information in the case was up to $61,000.

Some residents slammed the police response Saturday, calling it too aggressive.

"Just because you're wearing a badge, it matters more?" asked Mayra Salinas, a mother who lives in Back of the Yards. "How does that make us feel? We have a lot of homicides that go unsolved, and not one time do they put this much effort into finding the gunman that killed our friend, our brother.”

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said: “This is the fourth law enforcement officer that’s been shot over in that area. You think we’re going to take this lying down? I’ve got a message: We’re coming for you.”

Criminal complaint against Ernesto Godinez by WGN Web Desk on Scribd