CHICAGO (STMW) – When Antonio Bucio allegedly pointed a .45-caliber handgun into a Northwest Side park and squeezed the trigger last week, his gang’s biggest rival was the Latin Kings.
But when the bullets struck two young girls — instead of his foes — the Chicago Police Department became his gang’s No. 1 enemy.
Outraged by the shooting, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy has declared war on Bucio’s gang, the Maniac Latin Disciples. McCarthy has vowed to lock members up “on whatever charges we come up with.” Police estimate there are more than 500 of the gang’s members in Chicago.
On Saturday, Bucio was ordered held without bond on charges of attempted murder, unlawful use of a weapon, and aggravated battery. The pony-tailed 22-year-old wore a Band-Aid on his right cheek during his court appearance, covering up a tiny tattoo of a “D” sprouting devil horns — a symbol of his gang — police said.
At about 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, Bucio was riding in a maroon van with two other men and two women, when he jumped out at Avondale Park near Belmont and Central and exchanged gang signs with Latin Kings playing basketball, police said.
Bucio allegedly opened fire after flashing a Maniac Latin Disciples sign, wounding a 2-year-old girl and a 7-year-old girl in a sandbox, police said. The younger girl was grazed in the head, but the 7-year-old remains in critical condition with a bullet in the back, according to prosecutors.
Police said they found the van abandoned about two miles away in Logan Square, and recovered a .45-caliber handgun from the vehicle.
Later, Belmont District officers saw a group of men and women running near the location of the abandoned van and stopped them for questioning. The officers took down their names and other identification, then let them go. The “contact cards” the officers filled out became crucial in identifying Bucio as the shooter, a police source said.
Prosecutors said in court that eight witnesses have identified him as the shooter.
Bucio confessed to the shooting, saying his rivals had “disrespected” him, prosecutors said.
Recent murders involving an ongoing conflict between the Maniac Latin Disciples and Latin Kings also may have been a factor, said police.
Bucio was on probation for retail theft, but hasn’t been convicted of any violent crimes, court records show. His defense attorney said the 22-year-old was planning on seeking a GED at Truman College.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)