A Cook County judge ordered an 18-year-man held without bond Friday after he was accused of murder in the death of Chicago police Officer Andres Vasquez-Lasso, who was shot and killed responding to a domestic-related call this week.
Steven Montano, 18, who remains hospitalized, was charged Thursday with first-degree murder, two gun-related felonies and misdemeanor counts of interfering with a report of domestic violence and assault. Judge Mary Marubio issued the no-bond order at a hearing attended by a number of uniformed Chicago police officers.
“This case from start to finish, it begins with violence and ends with violence,” Marubio said.
Marubio made the order after Assistant Cook County State’s Atty. Anne McCord told the judge Montano took his girlfriend’s cell phone as she first tried to call 911. The shooting then took place near a playground, where children had to take cover, the prosecutor said.
Vasquez-Lasso was among officers responding to a call for a man with a gun late Wednesday afternoon in the 5200 block of South Spaulding Avenue in the Gage Park neighborhood. The officers encountered someone in the street with a weapon, police have said.
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The officers chased the suspect, and shots were exchanged “at close range” between the suspect now alleged to be Montano, and Vasquez-Lasso, Chicago police Superintendent David Brown said after the shooting. The officer, 32, was shot multiple times and was rushed to Mount Sinai hospital where he died, authorities said.
Several hundred people, mostly Chicago police officers, gathered Thursday night at Hale Park on the Southwest Side for a vigil for the fallen officer, with Vasquez-Lasso’s widow in attendance. Earlier in the day, community members gathered at the crime scene to pay respects, and lawmakers in Springfield held a moment of silence.
Montano was arrested last year and charged with a misdemeanor count of resisting a peace officer. Prosecutors alleged he ran after officers investigating a shooting stopped the car he was in. Witnesses of the shooting had described the car and its license plate to police.
Police eventually curbed the car, and the suspect and two others ran away, the report alleged. All three were taken into custody and officers recovered two guns in the vicinity, a police report said.
Prosecutors later dismissed the charge, as prosecutors offered him community service as an alternative to traditional prosecution, according to a statement from a spokesperson for Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. The statement said the facts of the case did not support a gun charge.
At least one person charged in the incident is facing pending felony gun and fleeing counts.
Montano is scheduled to appear in court again on March 22.