A gunman who authorities believe shot and killed an off-duty Chicago police officer and wounded his friend applied to be a Chicago cop before he was arrested at the police academy in connection with a home invasion, the Chicago Tribune reports. Menelik Jackson, 24, was one of two people charged with first-degree murder in off-duty officer John Rivera’s death, said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. Jovan Battle is accused of being a “co-conspirator” who was with Jackson at the time of the shooting. Rivera and his friend, both 23, were sitting in a parked car in the River North neighborhood at about 3:30 a.m. Saturday when two assailants walked up, and one pulled a gun and began firing into the vehicle. Another off-duty police officer and a female civilian were in the car, but they were not injured.
Speaking of Rivera, Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said, “It’s just a shame. This kid’s just 23 years old.” Johnson said Rivera was “gunned down senselessly.’’ . The wounded man was listed in critical condition. Police expect he will survive. Johnson said it appears to be an unprovoked attack. There’s no evidence that there was any interaction between the officers and the suspects before the shooting, and there’s no indication that the suspects knew they had targeted police officers, Johnson said. Police were looking into whether Rivera and the other victim were shot in a case of mistaken identity. Investigators were looking into whether the shooter was involved in a nearby altercation with another group earlier in the night and later mistook Rivera and the other victim as being part of that group.