An off-duty Cook County sheriff’s deputy can be seen using a man he shot as a human shield in surveillance video of a gunfight in Chicago nearly three years ago.
The Chicago Tribune recently acquired the video that shows suspect Fernando Lopez get out of a car and start waving a gun around in front of the nightclub Funky Buddha Lounge on Nov. 30, 2014.
While walking in the middle of the street to get into a car, Lopez appears to fire his weapon into the air. Michael Raines, an off-duty deputy, immediately engages him and starts firing. The two men run out of the middle of the road to the sidewalk. Lopez, who’d been hit by Raines’ gunfire, clutches himself and falls to the ground.
That’s when Raines can be seen grabbing Lopez and using him as a shield. As he does this, another man, later identified as Mario Orta, walks right by the two men with a gun. Orta points his gun at Raines, and Raines points his gun back at him, as the injured Lopez tries to prevent the deputy from pointing his weapon.
The standoff lasted a couple minutes as Orta, 30, walked up and down the block and then got into a car right by Raines and Lopez. He eventually jumped out of the vehicle and ran away. Officers arrived near the end of the video and Raines waved his hands in the air to get their attention.
It’s not clear from the video whether Orta fired at Raines, but police say he did. He was arrested the next day. He pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated discharge of a firearm and was sentenced to ten years in prison.
Lopez, 29, survived the incident and is awaiting trial on several charges, including attempted murder. He’s currently out on bail.
An internal investigation found that Raines’ actions were justified during the incident. While on leave during that investigation, he boarded a city bus in 2015, where he was later found unresponsive. He died of a fentanyl overdose at the age of 33.
According to records from the Cook County medical examiner’s office, Raines was abusing alcohol and heroin as he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, insomnia and neuropathy.