Man charged in shooting death of Officer Andres Vasquez Lasso ordered held without bond
CHICAGO - The man accused of killing Chicago police officer Andres Vasquez-Lasso was ordered held without bond Friday afternoon after prosecutors disclosed new details of the deadly confrontation near a playground at a grade school in Gage Park.
A Cook County judge denied bond to Steven Montano who has been charged with first-degree murder, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, aggravated discharge of a firearm and two other misdemeanors seaming from the Wednesday shooting.
The decision happened roughly an hour after the body of Vasquez Lasso was taken with a police escort from the Cook County medical examiner's office to a funeral home in Oak Lawn.
Montano, 18, is charged with gunning down Vasquez-Lasso as he was being chased by the officer in the 5200 block of South Spaulding Avenue near Sawyer Elementary School.
During the bond hearing, prosecutors said Montano and a 37-year-old woman he was dating began arguing about their relationship and living arrangement.
Montano allegedly tried to strike his girlfriend who stepped out of the way, according to the bond proffer. Montano then threatened to get his gun.
Montano's girlfriend exited the home and called 911 to report he had a gun, prosecutors said. Montano followed her, grabbed the phone from her hand, hung up on 911 and threw the phone, prosecutors said.
They both went back into the home and continued to argue.
Police officers arrived at the home and heard a noise in the gangway before seeing Montano running back towards the alley, holding what officers believed was a gun, prosecutors said.
Montano dropped a gun and magazine in front of the neighbors before picking them back up and inserting the magazine into the pistol, prosecutors said. He then asked the neighbors if he could hide the gun in the garage they were standing in, prosecutors said.
When the neighbors said no, Montano entered the garage they were in and ran into the backyard of the connected residence.
Officers saw Montano climb onto a car in the backyard and hop a nearby fence into another yard, prosecutors said.
Montano ran east across Spaulding Avenue and then north on Spaulding past Sawyer Elementary School.
Vasquez Lasso and his partner were in a squad car responding to the scene when they saw Montano running north on Spaulding, the bond proffer read.
Vasquez Lasso got out of his marked squad car and chased Montano on foot, prosecutors said. He chased Montano into the school yard and gave him multiple commands to stop running, prosecutors said.
Montano refused and went into a gate that led into a fenced yard containing a playground.
Once Vasquez Lasso was only a few feet behind him, Montano looked over his shoulder, racked the pistol and pointed it at him, prosecutors said.
Both Montano and Vasquez Lasso started shooting. Montano fired five shots and Vasquez-Lasso was struck three times, once in the head, leg and arm, prosecutors said.
Vasquez-Lasso got off two shots and struck Montano in the mouth area, prosecutors said.
There were several people including multiple children on the playground who took cover under a slide, according to the proffer.
The shooting was all captured on Vasquez Lasso's body camera.
Vasquez-Lasso's partner got out of his squad car and approached Montano who refused orders and tried to walk away from police. Montano was tasted and handcuffed. Officers recovered the .45 caliber handgun Montano used in the shooting.
Officers started rendering aid to Vasquez Lasso who was put in a squad car and transferred to an ambulance that took him to Mount Sinai Hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to the proffer.
The cause of death was from multiple gunshot wounds and the manner of death was determined to be homicide. Vasquez Lasso suffered a gunshot wound to his left temple which exited the back of his head, prosecutors said. He also had a through-and-through gunshot wound to his left forearm and another to his left calf.
Police have provided little information about Montano, saying only that he had a record of one prior arrest. Records show Montano was arrested near two handguns last summer after running from a stolen car that was wanted in a shooting.
SUBSCRIBE TO FOX 32 ON YOUTUBE
Montano was charged at the time with a misdemeanor count of resisting or obstructing a peace officer, which was dropped months later. The arrest report notes that felony charges were denied by prosecutors, though it doesn’t provide further details. A teenage boy was charged in the shooting, and another man was hit with gun charges, according to police.
Officer Andres Vasquez Lasso was married and had a young daughter. They had just moved into a home in Marquette Park a little over a year ago, according to a neighbor, Sara Montemayor.
"I just saw them the day before out walking their dog. I know the grandma is over a lot to help out with the daughter" said Montemayor, 34. "It’s hard knowing that happened to a neighbor."
Vasquez Lasso was shot just 2 1/2 miles from his home. On Thursday morning, four police officers from the Chicago Lawn Police District arrived at the scene of the shooting with flowers for a memorial.
"We’re out here to pay our respects to our brother in blue," said one of the officers, who declined to give her name.
She said the four of them worked an earlier shift than Vasquez-Lasso and only knew him in passing, but knew he was bright and on the rise.
"He was always smiling," the officer said.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.