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Man Fired 23 Shots At Police Lieutenant On Near West Side, Authorities Say

By  Stephanie Lulay and Erica Demarest | September 11, 2017 2:29pm | Updated on September 11, 2017 5:05pm

 Bruce Burns, 25, of the 1800 block of West Monroe, was arrested near his home and charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon and felony possession of a controlled substance in the shooting, police said.
Bruce Burns, 25, of the 1800 block of West Monroe, was arrested near his home and charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon and felony possession of a controlled substance in the shooting, police said.
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File photo; Chicago Police Department

NEAR WEST SIDE — Someone shot at an off-duty Chicago Police lieutenant on the Near West Side on Sunday night.

Eddie Winters, a veteran police lieutenant and former state representative, was in his car near Hoyne Avenue and Madison Street about 8 p.m. Sunday when someone fired 23 shots at him, according to Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th) and police. Officers said Winters' vehicle was damaged in the attack, but no one was injured.

The shooting happened near the Chicago Public Library's Manning branch and just two blocks west of the United Center, 1901 W. Madison St.

Police responding to a call of "shots fired" chased accused gunman Bruce Burns, 25, to his home in the 1800 block of West Monroe Street, where he was arrested about 8:15 p.m., according to police and prosecutors.

When police found a loaded .38 caliber handgun with six live rounds during a patdown, records show, Burns reportedly said, "I have a gun, but you know how it is. It's dangerous out here. I'm not on no bulls---. I'm just a regular guy."

Police also recovered $20 worth of cocaine. Burns does not have a valid FOID card, prosecutors said during a bond hearing Monday at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, 2650 S. California Ave.

Burns is charged with aggravated unlawful use of a loaded gun and possession of a controlled substance. Cook County Judge Donald Panarese Jr. on Monday set bail at $75,000.

Burnett, who lives in the neighborhood, said police are continuing to investigate the "scary" and "serious" shooting, but a motive was not immediately known.

Winters is a leader on the Near West Side who at times has served as a bridge between police and neighbors, Burnett said. The veteran cop is known for organizing basketball games between police officers and kids and helping young men pursue jobs, the alderman said. 

"He's a stand up guy," Burnett said.

One neighbor said Winters, a longtime cop, is very well-known in the neighborhood.

"Everybody knows who Eddie [Winters] is. If they are shooting at a known police officer, that makes me think they were trying to kill him," said the neighbor, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution. "That makes me nervous."

A native of the Near West Side who grew up in the Henry Horner Homes, Winters helped found Homeowners of West-Town (HOW) and is an active member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE).

At least five people were injured in shootings on the Near West Side this weekend. One man was wounded in a shooting on a Green Line train at Ashland and Lake late Friday, while four people were wounded Saturday and early Sunday.

Interim state rep

Winters in 2012 was appointed to the 10th District state representative seat on an interim basis to replace state Rep. Derrick Smith, who was impeached by his colleagues following a bribery scandal. Winters served five months in office.

Smith was reelected to the seat and sworn in in 2013, but in March 2014, he lost the district's primary election to Pamela Reaves-Harris.

In 2016, Melissa Conyears-Ervin, wife of Ald. Jason Ervin (28th), was elected to the state seat.