"It is easier to build a strong child than to repair a broken man." - Frederick Douglass

ATF Agent Shot in South Side Chicago in the Back of the Yards


An ATF agent was injured in the face early Friday, May 4, 2018, in the Back of the Yards of Chicago. This was the fourth law officer injured in the last year in a territory on the South Side where opposing gangs have been ramping up their firepower.

Both federal and local law authorities were investigating as part of Chicago’s task force; comprised of federal, state, and local police to halt the flow of illegal firearms into the city.

The ATF specialists were working with Chicago police around 3:15 a.m. Friday, when somebody opened fire from a corridor close to Hermitage Avenue, which is not far from Davis Square Park, police said. The ATF agent, along with different individuals from the strike team were following up on information that one of the gangs in the Back of the Yards may have recently recieved various weapons, as indicated by an anonymous source.

Sources have claimed that police exchanged fire in the direction of where the shots originated from, but no one was hit.

This led the police and federal agents to raid house after house on the block where the shooting occurred, and it caused massive backlash from the community, who flocked together in an unplanned protest outside their homes.

Some were chanting while others recorded the mistreatment of the children forced out their homes through wanton force. The police, along with other federal agencies, and community activist Andrew Holmes, pooled together $61,000 in reward money for any information about the shooting of the ATF agent.

The following week, suspected All Mighty Saints gang member, Ernesto Godinez, 27 years old, was arrested and charged with the shooting of the ATF agent. Many speculated that he was the main culprit.

His eldest brother Rodrigo Godinez, 37 years old, was also arrested during the day-long manhunt led by the police, ATF, and FBI. He was charged with cocaine distribution, and both brothers have lengthy criminal records. The arrest of Ernesto seems to coincide with who authorities believe fired upon the undercover agent.

Private security footage shows Ernesto a block from where the shooting took place entering an alley well before the shots rang out from Hermitage Avenue, he then proceeded to make a beeline for his home. He left afterward by car as the charges indicate.

Despite the fact that the charges were carried independently, a dissension documented against Rodrigo Godinez on Tuesday, uncovered the ATF agent was engaged with a broad surveillance of his narcotics managing for no less than two months. Phone taps indicated that an undercover agent recorded discussions between them about his drug handling, which led to his arrest along with his younger brother.

Immediately after his hearing, his brother stepped into the same glaring eyes his younger brother faced made up of a myriad of federal agents and police.

U.S. Civil Judge Maria Valdez announced that Ernesto Godinez is a flight risk and a hazard to the community, He was decreed to be held indefinitely without bond. His lawyer, Lawrence Hyman, stated that the evidence against him is insubstantial as is the claim of him carrying a handgun during the incident. He mentioned the ridiculousness of having shot at someone from half a blocks’ distance, and he commented that the agent may have been a victim of friendly fire.

Further combing of his criminal record reveals a murder case connecting him to another instance of firing off his handgun at a man walking with his wife and children while yelling out, “Saints love!” He pled guilty to aggravated discharge of a firearm and to an aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and was ordered to serve five years in prison in 2015, but was released early in 2016, and then completed his parole Jan. 4, 2018, approximately four months before the ATF was shot.

Written by Juan Ayala
Edited by Jeanette Smith


The Chicago Tribune: Prosecutor: Reputed gang member indicted in shooting of ATF agent was looking for rivals that day
The Chicago Tribune: ATF agent is 4th officer shot in Back of the Yards in a year: ‘You will not get away with this’
The Chicago Tribune: Reputed gang member charged in Friday shooting of ATF agent; brother also arrested on drug charges
WGN TV: After ATF agent shot in the head, Back of the Yards residents call police response too aggressive
FOX 32: Manhunt for [a] gunman after [a] federal agent shot in Chicago; $61K reward offered

Featured Image Courtesy of Inventorchris’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Top Image Courtesy of British Columbia Emergency Photography Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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