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Several people arrested for celebratory gunfire
While the massive Obama rally Tuesday night proved peaceful in Grant Park, other celebrants chose to mark the historic occasion with gunfire elsewhere in Chicago, authorities say.
As a result, nearly a quarter of the cases before Cook County Circuit Judge Israel Desierto in felony Bond Court on Wednesday were for gun-related arrests, far more than usual.
Andre Murph, 37, of Aurora was arrested after police said they spotted him shooting a handgun into the ground in the 700 block of West 60th Place in Chicago.
Assistant State's Atty. Lorraine Scaduto said Murph told the officers he was "shooting to celebrate Obama as president."
Narada Thomas, 23, of the 1200 block of North Central Avenue, is alleged to have gave a similar explanation after he was arrested with a handgun near his home. "He said he had the gun because he wanted to celebrate Obama becoming the first black president," Scaduto said.
Kenneth Smith, 24, of the 6700 block of South Ada Street was arrested after he was accused of firing a handgun outside his home. Smith, who is on parole for a weapons conviction, told authorities that "the police only arrested him because a black man won for president," Scaduto said.
Robert Morgan, 54, of the 5700 block of South Lowe Avenue appeared to have simply been caught up in the excitement. When officers arrested Morgan for allegedly firing a handgun into the air from his back porch, "He told the officers, 'Everyone else is shooting off their guns—I figured, why not?' " Scaduto said.