3 charged after sniper attack

Chicago Sun-Times,  Jul 21, 2001  by Frank Main

Firefighters from Engine No. 4 and paramedics from ambulance 43 were trying to rescue a shooting victim early Thursday when they came under gunfire, police spokesman Tom Donegan said.

Police launched an investigation into the ambush in the 500 block of West Division and were pointed to an apartment at 1340 N. Larrabee, where they were told Gangster Disciples had moved in after kicking out a 22-year-old woman and her daughter.

About 11:45 p.m. Thursday, police knocked on the door and suspected gang member Quintus T. Royal, 24, answered, Donegan said. Officers saw two caged pit bull puppies covered with cuts and feces, and arrested Michael L. Chism, another suspected gang member, on a charge of cruelty to animals.

The officers also spotted drug paraphernalia and searched the apartment, finding heroin and crack cocaine with a street value of about $25,000, Donegan said. They also discovered six loaded large- caliber pistols, he said.

Royal was arrested on drug and weapons charges, while another suspected gang member, Marvin Warfield, 24, was charged with trespassing. Royal and Chism, 25, live in the building, and Warfield's address is in the 5600 block of South Wells, Donegan said.

An officer assigned to the Chicago police housing unit said Cabrini-Green has been plagued with gunfire for the past week because of an internal gang struggle over a higher "street tax" for drug sales.

Police also have come under fire recently in the complex, which is being demolished to make way for new development, said the officer, adding that police recently spotted a boy carrying an assault-style rifle in the area.

Bill Kugelman, president of Chicago's firefighters union, said he is becoming concerned about attacks on paramedics and firefighters. "We're getting about three a week," he said. "This is getting to be a major problem."

Kugelman said the union is proposing legislation to make threats and attacks on paramedics a felony, and is receiving support from police and prosecutors. Attacks on firefighters already are a felony, he said.