Suspect in Chicago 'Ambush' Shooting of ATF Agent Arrested, Charged

A suspected gang member has been charged with shooting an ATF agent last week in an ambush in Chicago.

Ernesto Godinez, 28, made an initial court appearance Tuesday morning on a count of forcible assault of a law enforcement officer. Nearly 100 ATF agents filled the courtroom as Godinez quietly told the judge he understood the charges against him.

According to the police report, Godinez ambushed an undercover ATF agent who was placing a tracker on Godinez’s car around 3:15 a.m. Friday, during a joint mission by Chicago Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Authorities said Godinez came out shooting when he spotted the agent placing the tracker on his car.

The ATF agent and Chicago police officer both returned fire at the scene, and both were taken to the emergency room.

At least three surveillance cameras in the area recorded the moments leading up to and after the shooting. Godinez allegedly is seen leaving his house moments before the shooting, walking down an alley, and toward 44th and Hermitage where the officer and ATF agent were located just before the shooting; then running back through the alley to his house just after shots were fired.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez ordered him held in custody until his detention hearing on May 17. Federal prosecutors argued he was a flight risk and a danger to the community.

Godinez turned himself in with his lawyer on Monday, sources told CBS 2. He has an extensive criminal record, including a conviction for attempted murder in 2011.

If convicted, Godinez faces up to 20 years in prison.

“I know that in the past several days it has not been easy for both the ATF who had one of their agents seriously injured and also for the residents of the Back of the Yards as we work to bring this criminal to justice,” said Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson.

Posted in The Takedown


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