Man, 25, faces attempted murder charge in shooting that ended in police chasing, fatally shooting armed man

William Lee and Paige Fry, Chicago Tribune

A Cook County judge denied bail on Sunday for a 25-year-old man accused of shooting and wounding a man Friday in Little Village that ended in officers pursuing a car that was leaving the scene, then fatally shooting one of the armed men who jumped out of the car.

Saul F. Zaragoza, of Berwyn, was arrested as he tried running from his crashed vehicle in the 3700 block of West 26th Street on the West Side around 12:30 p.m. Friday, authorities said, adding that a 9 mm handgun was recovered inside the vehicle. He is charged with attempted first-degree murder.

Zaragoza, who is on parole for an armed robbery conviction, is also facing felony charges of aggravated battery for discharging a firearm and unlawful use of a firearm by a felon, police said.

In court, prosecutors said Zaragoza was the gunman who fired about six shots from the rear passenger seat of his own vehicle at a man as he left his Little Village home. The unidentified victim was grazed by two bullets, including one in the head.

Hearing the shots, police quickly spotted Zaragoza’s fleeing vehicle and chased it through an alley before it crashed into a utility pole, prosecutors said.

A man ran from the driver’s seat holding a fully loaded .357 Magnum revolver, prosecutors said. When the man kept pointing the gun as he ran away, one of the officers shot the man in the lower back.

The man, identified as 25-year-old Marc A. Nevarez, of Little Village, was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Following his arrest, Zaragoza said Nevarez was the gunman who fired on the victim, authorities said. They rejected this version, saying the dead man’s gun was fully loaded, while shell casings found at the scene matched the 9 mm left in the car.

Judge Charles S. Beach II denied Zaragoza bail and approved a petition for violating the terms of his parole.

Responding officers had pursued a Ford Focus that sped from the scene and crashed into a light pole, according to a police statement.

A man with a gun and two others jumped out of the car, police said. Officers fired at the armed man and recovered his gun. He and another man were taken into custody and a second gun was found in the Focus. A female who fled from the car has not been found.

Chicago police Chief of Operations Brian McDermott, speaking to reporters near the scene, would not say if the suspect shot by police had fired at officers.

The officers involved will be placed on administrative duties for 30 days, as is routine, while the Civilian Office of Police Accountability investigates the incident.

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