Category Archives: John P. Rivera

Death Of Off-Duty CPD Officer Part Of Rise In Violence and Crime In River North

Chicago (CBS) — Flashing lights are no stranger to one of the wealthiest parts of Chicago. The River North area, known for its nightlife and restaurants, is in a police district that’s experienced more than a 60 percent increase in crime in the past four years.

Homicides are rare, but the overnight killing of an off-duty Chicago police officer happened within a seven-minute walk of another River North murder.

Only two weeks ago, Thurman Bailey died while working security outside the now-shuttered Sound Bar.

Police announced the arrest of Armond Williams Friday. They say Williams fired his gun during a fight with the bouncer.

Saturday is the one-year anniversary of Miguel Beedle’s murder. He was outside a River North club when police say Gino Bassett saw Beedle counting cash, followed him to an alley and tried to rob him. Bassett is accused of stabbing the father of three in the neck, killing him.

Robbery also appears to be the motive of a River North mystery woman.

Police believe she targeted partygoers by posing as an Uber and Lyft driver, then robbing riders at least nine different times last summer.

CBS 2 asked police — what’s up with crime in River North?

“Anywhere you go, if you mix alcohol and people with illegal guns, there’s a possibility something could occur,” CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson said.

But, the superintendent was mostly talking about thefts and disturbances. As for the double digit increase of overall crime in the neighborhood?

“We’ll certainly dig into it and see if there is a particular pattern down there,” Johnson said.

Within a half-mile radius of the latest River North tragedy, police data shows 20 serious incidents in a span of only two weeks.

Chicago police say in addition to its patrols in the area, River North is also well-covered by surveillance cameras run by both the city and private businesses.

At Least 12 Detectives Working To Find Out Who Killed CPD Officer John Rivera

Chicago (CBS) — The city of Chicago lost an officer, and Julian Martinez lost one of his best friends. He says he met John Rivera in the first grade. They grew up together on the Far South Side in Hegewisch.

“He was the last person in the world to deserve this,” Martinez said. “All I keep asking myself is, ‘Why? Why him?’ He would never do anything. He was the perfect person.”

RELATED John Rivera, 23, Off-Duty CPD Officer Fatally Shot In River North: What We Know

Chicago police say Rivera and his friends had left a bar in River North Saturday morning and were sitting in a car around 3:30 a.m. Investigators say two men approached the car near Clark and Huron and started shooting.

“This appears to be a unprovoked attack against a group of individuals who went out to unwind on a Friday night,” Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said.

Sources say two groups were fighting in River North. One group of people went looking for another group, and they stumbled upon Rivera and his friends. According to sources, the shooter may have thought Rivera was someone else.

Hegewisch barber Neko Castillo says Rivera was a friend who wouldn’t hurt a fly.

“One of those situations where some people ask, ‘oh, do you think he could have been having altercations with anybody?’ From my point of view from knowing him, I don’t think so,” Castillo said.

Police say Rivera had just wrapped up a shift around 10 p.m. Friday.

Martinez says he’s also friends with another off-duty officer who was in the car and was not shot. He says he was planning on going out with the group, but his girlfriend felt sick.

“I probably would have been in that car with them and God knows where I would be right now, whether dead, shot, still alive or traumatized,” Martinez said.

Martinez says he’s also friends with another person in the car who was shot. He says that person is up and talking but still at the hospital.

Police say they are questioning one person, who is not a suspect. They’re also reviewing security video.

John Rivera, 23, Off-Duty CPD Officer Fatally Shot In River North: What We Know

Chicago (CBS) — John P. Rivera, 23, has been identified as the off-duty Chicago police officer who was fatally shot in River North Saturday morning, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

RELATED John Rivera, 23, Identified As Off-Duty CPD Officer Fatally Shot In River North; CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson ‘Disgusted’ By Fatal Shooting Of Off-Duty Officer John Rivera

Rivera lived in the Hegewisch neighborhood on the Far South Side of Chicago and had been a police officer for less than two years.

One of his neighbors, John Sanchez, is a former CPD sergeant and said Rivera would ask him for advice about being a police officer.

“He was a good boy, I mean a really, really nice boy,” Sanchez said. “He ran all the time, worked out all the time with neighbor kids his own age. They’d all work out to try to be ready to be police.”

Sanchez said Rivera wanted to be a police officer since he was 16 years old and dreamed of doing tactical work.

Rivera was a 2013 graduate of Brother Rice High School. The school’s president Mark Donahue and principal Bob Alberts released a statement, saying:

“The whole Brother Rice community is mourning the loss of Officer Rivera. On behalf of Brother Rice, we express our deepest condolences to his family. John is remembered as a nice, polite, and soft spoken young man. He was always willing to help others and truly lived out our motto of ‘Acting Manfully in Christ Jesus’. God bless John and his family.”

Several people in Rivera’s neighborhood knew him as John Petty. He changed his last name to Rivera to match his mother’s.

Friends say Rivera was very kind. Neko Castillo, a longtime friend, said, “He showed me how to care about people no matter what and just how to live the best life.”

Castillo was also Rivera’s barber and shared a photo of Rivera after a recent haircut.

(Credit: Neko Castillo)

Julian Martinez also shared a recent photo of Rivera and him and one from their First Communion.

(Credit: Julian Martinez)

(Credit: Julian Martinez)

Martinez said another friend was also hit in the shooting Saturday morning but is doing well.

“He’s doing good. He was shot four times but is completely up and talking. He’s very lucky,” Martinez said.

Police confirm Rivera and three other individuals were sitting in a parked car when two men approached their vehicle near Clark and Huron Street.

One man showed a handgun and started shooting. The offenders fled the scene.

Rivera was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital just before 4 a.m.

First Deputy Supt. Anthony Riccio said Rivera was working 3rd watch in the 6th District and had completed a shift around 9 or 10 p.m.

Riccio said Rivera had been with the department for just under two years. Officials said one person of interest is being questioned.

Police said there were many surveillance cameras in the area where the shooting took place. Detectives are looking through footage to see if they can get video of the shooter, who remains on the run.