John Gately III: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

John Gately III

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Famous attorney Stephen Shapiro was shot and killed on Monday evening in his home in Northfield, Illinois during what police say was a “domestic altercation.”

According to the Chicago Tribune, John Gately III, 66, was taken into custody after a long standoff with a SWAT team late Monday night. He was questioned by The North Regional Major Crimes Task Force and is now facing charges.

Here’s what we know:


1. John Gately III is Stephen Shapiro’s Brother-in-law

John Gately III facing charges for the murder of his brother-in-law, Stephen Shapiro

“A brother-in-law of the prominent attorney shot to death Monday evening has been charged with his murder,” reported the Winnetka Patch.

Joan Shapiro (the victim’s wife) and John Gately III are both listed as offspring of John Gately II in his obituary published by the Chicago Tribune.

According to Chief William Lustig, “Northfield police have interviewed many witnesses and collected extensive evidence leading to the charges filed Wednesday evening.”

Police released this report:


2. Gately is Facing Charges of First-Degree Murder And Attempted First-Degree Murder

According to Tandra Simonton, a spokeswoman for the Cook County State Attorney’s Office, Gately has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of his brother-in-law.

ABC 7 Chicago reported that Gately is scheduled to appear for a bail hearing Thursday afternoon at Skokie Courthouse.

3. According to Medical Examiners, Shapiro Died From Multiple Gunshot Wounds to The Chest

Shapiro, was shot around 7:20 p.m. on the evening of August 13th, at his residence near Northfield, Illinois. He was pronounced dead at 7:55 p.m. after the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office released their report.

Shapiro’s neighbors were shocked by the news of his death. “I can’t describe how upset we are in our house, and I’m sure up and down the block,” neighbor Marilyn Hiebeler said. “We all know each other and they were really lovely.”

“He was a nice fella, shared a lot of laughs with him,” said Brian Foley, another neighbor to the Shapiros. “This past Saturday we had a block party, he was there and as usual shared a lot of laughs.”

According to those who were interviewed, Shapiro had a son who recently passed away. He’s left behind a wife and daughter.


4. Police Tracked Gately to His Apartment, Then Called on a SWAT Team to Extract Him; Surrender Took Hours

Police started tracking Gately close to Shapiro’s home in Northfield soon after the shooting Monday night. They followed him back to his apartment building near Tower and Green Bay roads in Winnetka where they discovered he had barricaded himself from within.

A SWAT team consisting of 90 officers from Winnetka and the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System, surrounded Gately’s unit for nearly three hours—some reports say. Gately emerged at 10:35 p.m. to surrender.

Authorities have not said what led to or motivated the shooting.

“I’ve never seen a gun ever in Winnetka,” said Aaron Goldstein, a neighbor to the suspect. “This is one of the safest neighborhoods in the entire world.”


5. Shapiro Was One of The Most Accomplished Appellate Lawyers in The United States: Mayer Brown

Shapiro served as U.S. deputy solicitor general during the Reagan administration. According to The American Lawyer, he has argued 30 cases in front of the Supreme Court and personally briefed more than 200.

Shapiro is author of “Supreme Court Practice”, referred to as the “the Bible” of Supreme Court practice by Supreme Court justices themselves.

Shapiro’s last oral argument occurred less than two weeks before his death.

Shapiro started with Mayer Brown law firm in 1972 and made partner by ’78. He left briefly to serve in the Solicitor General’s Office under the Reagan Administration, but rejoined Mayer Brown in ’83 to pioneer “the first private practice in Big Law” with two other men, Andrew Frey and Kenneth Geller, who worked with Shapiro in the Solicitor General’s Office.

According to a report published by Reuters in 2014, “their appeals were at least six times more likely to be accepted by the court than were all others filed by private lawyers.” (That data was collected over a nine year span.)

Shapiro, Frey and Geller were responsible for 43 percent of the cases the Supreme Court chose to decide from 2004 through 2012.

“They basically are just a step ahead of us in identifying the cases that we’ll take a look at,” said Justice Anthony Kennedy.

A memorial service is being held for Shapiro on Monday, August 20th, 4 p.m. at Christ Church in Winnetka.

This is a developing story.