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Two charged after shootout with police on North Side

Luis Zapat/ Phofrom police News Affairs

Luis Zapata / Photo from police News Affairs

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Updated: September 12, 2012 8:23PM

A man once convicted of threatening a police officer was charged Wednesday with firing a shot at a police car attempting to make a traffic stop, prompting an exchange of gunfire early Tuesday in the North Center neighborhood.

Luis Zapata, 21, of the 2900 block of North Seeley Avenue, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault of a police officer, two counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm, one count of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a street gang member, police said. He has been arrested numerous times, most recently in February for aggravated assault of a police officer, according to police.

Zapata had previously been arrested for aggravated assault of a police officer, police said.

On Wednesday, Zapata was ordered held on $250,000 bond, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s office.

About 1:20 a.m. on Tuesday, officers attempted to stop a car in the 2200 block of West Barry Avenue, but the motorist drove off and someone inside fired at least one gunshot at the officers, police said.

After a short pursuit, police stopped the car and officers saw two of the suspects make furtive movements and the officers opened fire, police said. Nobody was wounded in the exchange of gunfire, and no weapon was found at the scene, according to police.

Zapata and two other people were taken into cutstody.

Michael Munoz, 27, of the 1300 block of West Winnemac Avenue, was charged with one count of misdemeanor aggravated assault. A juvenile was released without being charged, police said.

Police said there was a fourth person in the car, but that person was not arrested and is not in custody Wednesday afternoon.

 Ald. Scott Waguespack (23rd) said the three were part of the last members of a gang in the area.

 “It’s actually a very safe neighborhood in how it’s changed over the years compared to how it used to be,” Waguespack said. “It’s because the neighbors have gotten more involved and are calling stuff in … They have worked to help us go after the problem.”

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