By RUMMANA HUSSAIN
Just an hour after John “Buck” Buckner purchased a new Dodge Charger, he was gunned down in front of his Morgan Park home, where friends and his 11-year-old grandson gathered to admire his new ride, Cook County prosecutors said Friday.
Buckner, a civilian employee of the Chicago Police Department, was unloading groceries from the car with the help of his wife and grandson the night of Sept. 16.
His five friends across the street on the porch in 11500 block of South Church were happy to see Buckner’s new car, too.
The excitement didn’t last long.
Soon, William Cochran and two others, armed and riding by on bicycles, opened fire, Assistant Cook County state’s attorney Kim Przekota said.
Buckner, 59, and his wife dropped to the ground to avoid the bullets. But it was too late. Buckner was shot in the abdomen. He was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he died.
Buckner’s 41-year-old friend, who was across the street with the others, was shot in the ear. He survived.
Police said neither man was the intended target.
Buckner’s wife suffered a chipped tooth, cuts to her chin and face, and a busted lip from dropping to the ground, Przekota said.
A witness who was behind the three cyclists saw them shoot at Buckner, his wife and grandson, Przekota said. The incident was also captured on surveillance and a private camera system.
Police recovered 14 shell casings from two guns, Przekota said. They also were able to track the nicknames of the possible offenders, including Cochran, Przekota said.
Cochran, who turned 18 since the deadly shooting, was identified in a lineup and photo array, Przekota said.
He was previously found delinquent—the juvenile court equivalent of guilty—in four cases which included possession of a stolen motor vehicle, criminal trespass to a vehicle, and aggravated battery to a police officer, Przekota said.
Cochran is a student at Excel Academy, Assistant Public Defender Marijane Placek said.
Judge Laura Sullivan ordered Chochran, of the 11300 block of South Loomis, held on a $1 million bond Friday.
Buckner was a civilian employee of the CPD assigned to the general support division, according to police. He had worked for the department for 30 years, Przekota said.