Michael Forest Reinoehl crime scene
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
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Chicago’s cesspool of violence worsens by the day. Sadly, even the innocent serve as backstops for bad guys’ errant shots on a regular basis in America’s largest open-air shooting gallery. Among the latest victims; Bobbye Johnson, a 55-year-old grandmother who was hit by an armed security guard’s errant round fired from four blocks away.

The liquor store security guard had opened fire on a suspect who was over a block away at the time after an altercation.

Did we mention the so-called security guard, Victor Brown, 34, reportedly had prior convictions not only for armed robbery, but domestic battery, too? And reports say he had multiple current warrants for his arrest in Wisconsin.

But wait, there’s more. The armed security guard was packing a starter pistol. Confused? Read on.

It all began with the guard escalating an altercation with a guy nicknamed “Renegade.”  A witness said the guard, Mr. Brown, acted belligerently and put his fists in Renegade’s face.  At that point Renegade reportedly fired a shot from his pocket which struck Mr. Brown in the foot. Renegade then fled.

Brown accessed his starter pistol and fired “shots” at the fleeing Renegade, which likely caused him to run faster.

When a second armed guard approached to render aid to Brown, Brown apparently wrested control of the other guard’s (real) gun and fired twenty (20!) additional rounds at the fleeing Renegade who by then was a block away.

One of those rounds struck Ms. Johnson, a grandmother and regular choir member at St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church in the South Shore neighborhood as she stepped out of a bank four blocks away. She was hit in the chest and died.

It didn’t take police long to put the crime scene together and arrest Brown on a host of charges.

CBS2 Chicago has the sad story:

Victor Brown, 34, is facing one felony count of first-degree murder and one felony count of unlawful use of a weapon in Bobbye Johnson’s death. She was shot and killed Tuesday afternoon as she stepped out of the Chase Bank at 3500 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., about four blocks away from the liquor store where Brown was working…

Prosecutors said Victor Brown was working security at Wood’s Food and Liquor and Jamaican Jerk King restaurant at 35th Street and Indiana Avenue on Tuesday afternoon, when he got into an argument with another man, who goes by the nickname “Renegade,” and had been an issue on the block in the past, and had been banned from the store and restaurant…

Police and prosecutors said Brown then grabbed the other security guard’s gun, sat up, and fired a total of 20 shots at the gunman while he was more than a block away on a busy street. The nurse who witnessed the shooting told police she screamed at Brown to stop shooting.

A stray bullet struck Johnson in the chest as she was about four blocks away. She was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

CBS 2 has learned that Brown barely had any training as a security guard.

Also from the CBS2 Chicago story:

The owner of the security company said he did do a background check but did not know Brown had a record…

The owner said Brown came in with standard 20- and 40-hour security training certificates.

The owner of Bounty TAC Force hasn’t returned a call for comment about what sort of background check failed to turn up Brown’s armed robbery and domestic violence convictions, and what sort of training certificates were furnished.

As fate would have it, I spoke with a legitimate security company owner and the information he shared proved priceless. In Illinois, an armed security guard must have a FOID card, a company ID card, a “PERC” card which is basically a 20-hour certification on the use of deadly force, and a Firearms Control Card (which is received after the now, as of January 1, 2022, 28 hours of range and classroom time in the safe and proper use of a firearm).

The 48 hours of required training for armed security in Illinois is expensive and there’s a mountain of paperwork for legitimate companies to comply with the Land of Lincoln’s laws.  Furthermore, the insurance rates are astronomical. Of course, the cost of failing to meet all these requirements is not only great financial liability but potential criminal violations as well.

A quick license look-up at the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation website did not turn up any of the required registrations for Bounty TAC Force or its owner, Khephren Ferguson.

The bottom line is that this isn’t the first time a “security” guard in Chicago has shot and killed an innocent bystander. Last September, a non-compliant registered sex offender and four-time convicted felon working as an armed “security guard” shot and killed someone after an altercation over failure to wear a Chinese flu face covering. Then he argued it was self-defense, claiming the unmasked man posed an immediate threat of death or great bodily injury…because COVID.

It’s unknown if Mr. Brown will, through his attorney, claim self-defense in firing upon an attacker who was running away at a significant distance. What is known is that Chicago’s personal injury lawyers will surely be beating down the door of Ms. Johnson’s family seeking to represent her in a claim.

The other constant in today’s Chicago: it simply isn’t safe. Not even for innocent people minding their own business.

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99 COMMENTS

  1. “A Cook County grand jury has declined to indict a man on a first-degree murder charge in connection with a December shooting that left a woman dead when she was struck by a stray bullet in Austin.

    The case appears to be the first of it’s kind brought in the county since the state’s felony murder statute was changed as part of the SAFE-T Act — a landmark criminal justice reform bill that became state law last year.

    The rewritten felony murder law was designed to narrow who could be charged with the state’s most serious offense — which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison — to a person alleged to be directly responsible for committing the murder.

    During a hearing Monday, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said jurors returned indictments against Travis Andrews on weapons charges in the shooting — but not for murder — and cited the SAFE-T Act as the reason.”

    https://chicago.suntimes.com/crime/2022/2/8/22922377/melinda-crump-dead-travis-andrews-safe-t-act-springfield-illinois-murder-homicide-charge-cook-county

    They’re anti-gun, but not anti-criminal. I assume the SAFE-T Act will come into play here. Gotta love those bill names.

  2. So, if I wanted to open a “security” agency, I can just go down to the jailhouse, and hire a bunch of guys on work release? Or, do I have to wait until they are on parole, so I can pretend that I don’t know they are felons?

      • Hang onto those cap guns. In a few years, they could become valuable collectibles. Toy guns from the 1950s are now worth a fortune.

    • You CAN do that, if you’re willing to work without liability insurance of any kind. If none of your people do anything ‘bad’ to anybody else that might result in your being sued, you’re Golden.

  3. avatar Geoff "A day without an obsessed, apparently brain-damaged and mentally-ill demented troll (who deserves to live in New Jersey) is like a day of warm sunshine" PR

    “The liquor store security guard had opened fire on a suspect who was over a block away at the time after an altercation.”

    That sounds like something my obsessed, apparently brain-damaged and mentally-ill demented troll (who deserves to live in New Jersey) would do.

    *Shudder*… 🙁

    • I sometimes miss ‘ol All Hail.

      And then I remember I need my morning coffee, and I forget all about him for the rest of the day. Life is good.

      • avatar Geoff "A day without an obsessed, apparently brain-damaged and mentally-ill demented troll (who deserves to live in New Jersey) is like a day of warm sunshine" PR

        ‘hail’ and pee-gee-twoo are one and the same complete waste of viable protoplasm… 🙂

      • I bet your wife misses being with a real man, too. What a coward and loser you are lol. Almost as pathetic as GTFP. Almost…..

    • It’s a shame that there is no video of the Security Guard’s behavior.
      It would probably be viral on the internet by now.

  4. The details of this report may not be accurate.

    I just looked up the length of a “city block” in Chicago which is either 1/8th mile (north-south) or 1/16th mile (easy-west). The report says that the security guard’s errant shot struck the bystander four blocks away. That means the guard’s bullet traveled either 1/4 mile or 1/2 mile before hitting the bystander. And the photo shows what appears to be pretty level ground in front of the liquor store. Thus the guard’s bullet traveled between 1/4 and 1/2 mile on level ground before hitting the bystander according to the reports. I am having a hard time believing that.

    A typical handgun bullet will drop a LOT by the time it travels 1/4 mile and even more so when it travels 1/2 mile. The guard would have had to be aiming really high which doesn’t make sense. I wonder if someone else much closer to the bystander actually shot the bystander?

    I just ran the numbers on a Hornady 9mm Luger 124 grain load–the drop is 32 feet at 1/4 mile and 177 feet at 1/2 mile! I seriously doubt the guard was aiming 32 feet high, much less 177 feet high.

    • Oh, and the bullet velocity would be down to just over 700 feet-per-second at 1/4 mile and down to around 500 feet-per-second at 1/2 mile.

      Methinks someone else shot the bystander–or she was a LOT closer than four blocks away.

      • A .22 is dangerous out to a mile.
        And your trying to nit pick how a worthless piece of dung did a mag dump ??
        You don’t have anything better to do ??

      • Yes, 32-177 feet high is a lot. One thing that may help explain it is that the shooter apparently was sitting while shooting. So that would get the gunm at least pointing up. Plus, since he unloaded 20 rounds, I doubt that he was even aiming at all, probably just pulling the trigger as fast as he could. I guess it’s possible the muzzle was pointing up at a sufficient angle to travel .25 to .5 mile. Your theory is probably just as likely, considering the location!

      • You do realize that a projectile travelling at a mere 250fps or so, carrying a scant 15ft-lbs of energy, is capable of punching a hole in human skin, are you not? Increase the velocity, and the available kinetic energy rises.
        This is why ‘falling’ bullets (which aren’t really ‘falling,’ but are instead following a terminal ballistic path) kill with some regularity.
        That, and no bullet ever travels ‘straight,’ nor do they fly ‘level;’ Each one rises as it leaves the muzzle to cross the line of sight, then falls over its entire trajectory (which is an arc, not a line) until it hits the ground or its target. In other words, bullets must ‘go up’ before they ‘come down.’ The more elevation, the more distance a given bullet at a given velocity will travel overall.

        Oops.

    • The article says he “grabbed the other security guard’s gun, sat up, and fired a total of 20 shots at the gunman while he was more than a block away.”

      If that’s accurate, and he was on the ground shooting upwards at someone, that could put the bullet on a trajectory with a long enough arc to send the bullets 4 blocks out.

    • Even to travel half a mile with the bullet drop you cite, the elevation angle would be less than 4 degrees. One of President Obama’s bastard sons holding the gun sideways for a magazine dump could easily aim 4 degrees high.

      A handgun bullet needs a velocity of less than 300 feet per second to penetrate a human skull.

    • Methinks you are an ignorant clown who has no idea how far a bullet will travel or how far it can be deadly.

      Most obviously have have no concept of what ‘accuracy’ a wounded angry criminal doing a mag dump would be likely to have.

      Yes, the round that hit a bystander 4 blocks away had to have been fired above the target — but it to account for the 32′ drop you mention, it only needed to be less than 2 degrees above the line of sight, which would easily be expected for subsequent shots in a rapid fire string.

      • Be nice. You may be an ignorant clown some day, and he might return the favor.

        Nicely saying, “Ahem, but I believe that you MIGHT have made an error in your calculations, Sir!” is a better approach.

        And the correct answer is ’42.’

    • @uncommon_sense

      I applaud your ‘scientific theory’ approach. But your theory may be flawed leading to an incorrect premise.

      Your premise is based on “1/8th mile (north-south) or 1/16th mile (easy-west)”

      …. ok so lets use feet to demonstrate the flaw…

      In Chicago a typical city block is 330 by 660 feet (100 m × 200 m), meaning that 16 east-west blocks or 8 north-south blocks measure one mile. These are city planning/design measurements for an overall grid plan design for ‘blocks’ (or design layout ‘city blocks’). This is a pretty standard city planning design approach in many cities. These ‘city’ design ‘blocks’ are further broken down into ‘blocks’ by the division of streets/alleys which determine the actual final ‘city block’ size within the design ‘city block’ space. See the possible flaw?

      In other words, its possible that the ‘blocks’ being refereed to here is/are still well within the ‘reasonable’ bullet range. To determine the actual to either substantiate or not substantiate your theory of the distance it will be necessary to determine distances with actual measurement as the distances you used in your theory may not be correct.

      Have you looked at the addresses in question on something like Google Maps to get an idea of the lay of the land in the area to determine actual distances?

      • Ok, I went to Bing maps and measured the distances

        The gun was fired at 200 E. 35th St. at Indiana Avenue.

        The victim who got killed was at at 3500 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

        The distances between these two points on Bing maps is about 1,489 feet (+/- a few feet)

        The average city block length in that area is 350 feet west-east

        • So that four city blocks is “accurate” in terms of quantifying actual city block division determined by street division which is the common method to determine a ‘city block’.

        • 1,489 feet = 453.8 meters.

          Not sure what the gun was, but since 9mm are so common I’ll use that for an idea here – at about 45 degrees (arc), the round of an average 9 mm handgun gives a maximum effective range of about 2,300 meters.

          So based upon average 9 mm handgun, the below:

          If the handgun was a 9mm, its entirely possible that the bullet could have traveled the four city blocks (453.8 meters) and been within its maximum effective range at 453.8 meters within 8-12 degrees arc.

          The guy being fired at was about a ‘block’ away, or, based upon the average block length in that area west-east, 106.68 meters which gives us 3 – 5 degree arc average range to that 106.68 meter point, but the guy was actually a little farther than 106.68 meter so for the bullet to have traveled four city blocks would mean from 106.68 meters to 453.8 meters (where the victim was hit) the arc increased from 3 degrees minimum to around 12 degrees which indicates the shooter was trying to aim at the target but the target was moving away so aim was being continually adjusted as weapons fire was happening (20 shots were fired) so the arc increased to around 12 degrees eventually. It also means its likely that more than one of those rounds landed in the area of the victim.

          The victim was well within the maximum effective range of an average 9 mm handgun bullet.

        • still using averages:

          the average velocity of a 9mm round from an average 9 mm handgun is about 370 m/s.

          So after the physics math considering averages, and rate of velocity gained in the fall of the bullet from its peak altitude at 32 m/s^2, and distance, and average of left over initial velocity, and using a 9mm minimum average velocity of 4.4 × 10^5 m/s^2 to account for variation …. a bullet impacted the victim at an effective velocity of 363 m/s.

      • Can’t be 320 yards. Plugging that into the math means an average 9mm round from an average hand gun hit the victim at over 490 m/s velocity. A bullet terminal velocity can’t exceed the beginning velocity, unless someone found a way to suspend the laws of physics.

        But.. heck. I’m using average to get an idea with 9mm but even then if it was 320 yards its still in range of the victims easy with an arc.

    • It isn’t mentioned, but in firing 20 rounds, I have to believe the “guard” who stepped in after the fact had an AR, which would explain the trajectory problem better. Of course, it the media even suspected AR, they’d be hyping it all over.

      Sad part: I’m believing all the players are black so I wouldn’t expect this to me in the forefront long. Also, didn’t the Cook Co prosecutor (Foxx) announce a day or so ago that they would not seek Murder 1 or 2 indictments for shooting people who were not the intended targets of the gang shootings/drive-bys and the like? Certainly this could probably fit the bill.

        • I find it difficult to believe that the shooter also “wrestled” a spare mag from the other person, let alone know how to reload. Remember- he didn’t have the weapon- he took it from another. He had a starter pistol.

        • I currently own two pistols, both in 9mm, that are 19+1 or 20+1, so it wouldnt have necessarily required a mag change. Also, if fired parallel to the ground, a fired bullet will hit the ground at the same time as a bullet merely dropped from your hand will, regardless of the initial velocity it was fired at.

    • Doing a mag dump your sights are not going to e on the target. Recoil is going to elevate the muzzle and could cause the kind of trajectory that carries the bullet that distance. And then you have no idea what or where the bullet will hit.

      • avatar Geoff "A day without an obsessed, apparently brain-damaged and mentally-ill demented troll (who deserves to live in New Jersey) is like a day of warm sunshine" PR

        “It started shooting as soon as I opened the box.”

        I just *snickered*… 😉

        • avatar Geoff "A day without an obsessed, apparently brain-damaged and mentally-ill demented troll (who deserves to live in New Jersey) is like a day of warm sunshine" PR

          “If we weren’t all crazy, we would go insane…”

  5. It sounds like anger from getting shot in the foot by “Renegade” set the security guard off. Unfortunately for the guard he “took” a firearm from another and used it to vent and in the process he vented an innocent person who by all accounts was a decent human being.
    Not only is the so called security guard headed to the big house his employer is headed to the poor house.

    • Emplyer shuold also do a longish stint in the Big House. If his guards are supposed to provide their FOID, trainging cards, the other certs, AND submit to a full BGC, and employer went light on the protocols, HE could easily be held criminally liable for the “employee’s” actioins. Being short on the paperwork means employer cheated… set this whole thing up, and is thus at least aprtially resposnbile. But, Forget it Jake, it’s Chi Town. It wold seem the”employer” is running a sham. If security guards are that dear for an establishment to retain them, and bossMan ischeating, hiring unqualified fokes, bossMan is in deep doo doo. And god on him/ Seems he tried to game the system thinking he’d never get caught. HE should soon be getting fitted for his new Orange Onesie, and spend a rather longish stint of time for his criminal negilgence, cheatin,g gaming the system fraud, etc. The business who hired this compamy should demand ALL their money back.

  6. What in the world is a “Starter Pistol?” We talking a single shot .22 or what! How did he steal the other guard’s gun and fire 20 rounds? There had to be a mag change.

      • Got to be kidding X/
        Sounds like he took Bidens advice. “Just buy a shotgun!….Go out in the backyard and fire two blasts into the air…..”

    • A starter pistol is a revolver which will fire several blanks without reloading, but which will explode if fired with a live cartridge.

      • . . . unless the cylinder bores and barrel are bored out, allowing it to fire BB and CB caps, or .22 shorts, or regular primer ‘blanks’ with a projectile of some sort in front of the primer a la percussion revolvers, at which point the thing will function very much like a cartridge revolver BUT may still explode.

        It’s always something.

  7. Very sad. The fake security company, the fake guard, and the liquor store owner are all culpable.

    Prayers for that grandmother and her family.

  8. In CA when you start your class room training to get a guard card you are first finger printed and those prints are sent to the FBI. That is for an unarmed guard.

    • and everybody involved from start to finish is *amazingly* incompetent, from the guy who takes the fingerprints to the folks who process the application. Most probably are illiterate.

    • It was the same in Texas back in the early 90’s for unarmed. I had to explain an arrest without conviction and provide documentation of the case being dismissed.

  9. Maybe Mr. Brown will be offered a position working in Mayor Lightfingersfoot’s Security Detail…he appears to possess all the necessary qualifications.

  10. Seriously…? there wasn’t enough to go with this story – you had to go with the Chinese flu…?
    Jesus dude – you had one job….

  11. Since US law explicitly includes starter pistols in the definition of firearm, the ATF is CLEARLY going to come arrest this guy for felon in possession charges! (笑)

    • Do you have a citation for that? A starting pistol cannot be loaded with fixed cartridge ammunition and cannot launch a projectile. The barrel is a solid cylinder, the chambers are blocked to prevent loading of even a CB cartridge. They are readily available through direct order over the internet with no FFL involvement.

      Modifying them to fire real ammunition is possible, but that’d be considered manufacturing. It’d make a pretty lousy revolver since they aren’t meant to contain pressure, and there really isn’t a timing mechanism or forcing cone, so the bore would need to be relatively large and wouldn’t contribute to spin or velocity.

      • 18 U.S. Code § 921:
        (3)The term “firearm” means (A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; (C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or (D) any destructive device. Such term does not include an antique firearm.

        People flying with expensive electronics (especially cameras) often put them in the same bag as a starter pistol so they can be checked as a firearm and the TSA actually gives a damn about it not disappearing.

      • You keep using that word ‘cannot.’ I do not think it means what you think it means.

        As to the rest. . . human ingenuity knows no bounds. A bit of drill work, a copious amount of copper wire and electrical tape, some expendable fingers and thumbs, and Presto! Gun.

  12. If this report is accurate that security guard has a lot of explaining to do. Or, his lawyers do if isn’t completely stupid.

    • yu mean, like the murder suspect leaving the Empire State Building, being accosted by some of NY’s “finest”, and before the suspect was taken NINE innocent bystanders had been shot?

      Shush, now, that’s the Noo Yawk Way.

    • A man trying to support his fambly and buy bread, while earning his GED in the time left over from building Habitats for Humanity, solving world hunger, and escorting elderly people across busy streets without thought of recompense, with any random spare moments consumed by becoming a rap artist turning his life around, has little time available for obtaining a graduate degree.

  13. When you depolice a city, people will have to find their own ‘security’ since the only people being protected are the politicians.

    Some- especially the rich- will hire properly bonded and trained private agents to do that work. Others, who can’t afford it, will hire any warm body that walks through the door. This is the inevitable result.

    but it’s okay because no one that “matters” got hurt. The politicians can’t get in trouble because it wasn’t the police that did it. The rich don’t have to worry because they don’t go to that part of town. The media doesn’t have a narrative to spin because the skin pigmentation isn’t correct for what they want to say. Aside from the security guard the only person who might face issues is the owner of the company who will probably just shut it down and start up a new LLC under a different brand name. Rinse, repeat.

    • Obviously, they had one. Her name was Bobbye Johnson. No sarcasm intended at all, merely a statement of sorry, bitter fact.

  14. One part zoo + one part circus remove the fences and add extra clowns. About 500% more clowns. Basically every city at this point.

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