Edward Brown has been identified as the man accused of shooting off a gun in the South Side of Chicago, leading to a pursuit by Chicago police officers Eduardo Marmolejo and Conrad Gary that led to their being fatally struck by a train.
Brown has no criminal history, according to The Chicago Tribune, and has been charged with two felony weapons offenses, but no counts of murder. The gun in question was a .38-caliber Kel-Tec handgun, police say.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Brown Is Accused of Telling Authorities He Found the Weapon and Wanted to See if it Worked
According to The Chicago Tribune, Brown told authorities that he found the weapon in question in an alley near his home, and that he was trying to get to a remote area to see if it still worked. When the gun went off, Marmolejo and Gary saw Brown, left their car to follow him, and were eventually fatally struck by a train passing by.
Brown has no previous criminal history, and he lives in the area where the incident occurred, police say. When officers responded to the area and asked Brown if he was carrying a weapon, he said, according to The Chicago Tribune, “Yes, I have a gun on me…I found the gun in the alley on 101st and Vernon and I was just testing it out.”
Brown, 24, has lived with his mother his whole life, according to local news station ABC7 Chicago. A Neighbor said to the station, “It’s a sad thing, but [the deaths of Gary and Marmolejo are] not his fault. He was out on the ground. He wasn’t up on the tracks. He was directly behind his house out there testing out that pistol.”
2. Brown’s Bail Is Set at $200,000; He Is Not Likely to Be Charged With Felony Murder, Authorities Say
Brown’s bail is currently set at $200,000. Authorities said that it was likely he would be charged with two felony charges of reckless discharge of a firearm and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. It is unlikely that he will be charged with felony murder though, police say, though instances similar to Brown’s situation have led to felony murder charges in the past.
CBS Local later reported that Brown was indeed charged with reckless discharge of a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon.
Brown’s mother raised him and his siblings on her own, a neighbor told ABC7. She said, “So many people are really hurt by this. You know, I don’t know what went on in his head that day, but he’s a good young man. That woman raised those boys, just her and them.”
3. Video Footage Via a Body Cam Has Since Revealed the Confusion That Led up to the Deaths of Gary and Marmolejo
According to The Chicago Tribune, video footage via a body cam has since determined the confusion that led to Marmolejo and Gary being fatally struck by a train. In a press release, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that Marmolejo and Gary were facing another train that was moving toward them, and the noise of this train masked the noise of the train coming up behind them.
Marmolejo and Gary were standing on the tracks used by southbound trains because they were keeping an eye on the northbound train approaching, Guglielmi said.
He added, “They must have thought the sound they heard was the northbound train (and) they must have missed the sound of the train right behind them.”
4. Brown Has Been Cooperating Completely With Authorities, Police Say
Guglielmi later said in the press conference that Brown has been cooperative with authorities from the moment he was taken into custody.
5. Marmolejo Was a Two-Year Veteran of the Force; Gary Was an 18-Month Veteran of the Force
Eduardo Marmolejo, known as “Eddie Marmo” to his Facebook friends, was 36 years old and had been serving his community for two years at the time of his death, according to WGNTV. Conrad Gary was 31 years old, and had only been on the force for 18 months. They both had young children.
A GoFundMe has been set up for each of the slain officers’ families. For Marmolejo, the GoFundMe has already surpassed $50,000 in donations. The statement for the fundraiser reads in part, “Eddie leaves behind a wife and 3 young girls whose lives will forever be changed, especially during these holidays. Please help take care of the Marmolejo family and show them how Eddie bettered the lives of any individual he came in contact with. His smile, jokes, and love for his friends and his girls at home will forever be missed.”
As for Gary, his GoFundMe has also just surpassed $50,000 in donations for his family. The statement for his fundraiser reads, “Officer Conrad Gary ended his watch on December 17th 2018. He devoted this life to protecting others. He is a veteran, a husband, a daddy, a brother, a son. He is loved by so many and will truly be missed. His wife Kelly and daughter Tess will forever be changed by this event. Any help would be greatly appreciated.”