by P. J. McNeal, The Chicago Times

October 29, 2021

Jesus Garcia

CHICAGO – Like an episode of the Sopranos, a Logan Square man was so enraged that when a bystander asked his girlfriend if she needed help while the two were arguing that he shot and murdered the bystander, according to Chicago police.

On the beautiful morning of Sept. 17, Michael Bankston III had just parked his car when he noticed 22-year-old Jesus Garcia arguing with his girlfriend in the 2600 block of North Milwaukee Avenue.

Bankston, 25, intervened and approached when he observed Garcia grasp the woman by the shoulders and neck and inquired if she was OK. 

According to CPD, Garcia is said to have turned his rage on Bankston, pulling out a 9-mm handgun and shooting Bankston once to put him down and then ruthlessly shot him six more times as Bankston crawled away.  Bankston was taken to Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where he died.

Garcia was arrested and charged with first-degree murder on Tuesday.  Garcia stated that he shot Bankston because he felt the older man was going to do something to him.  Garcia allegedly admitted to investigators that he dismantled and dumped the gun he used in a lagoon. 

The shooting was caught on video showing Bankston standing beside the pair when he approached them.  According to the video, Bankston was never seen with a weapon and never threatened Garcia.

After the shooting, Garcia ran back to his residence in the 2600 block of North Kedzie Avenue, where he changed clothes and hairstyle before returning to the scene of the crime where one of the witnesses identified him, according to CPD.

Garcia stated that he had previously been diagnosed with mental illness but was unable to convey what the diagnoses is.  Garcia lives on his own and is currently unemployed, according to the defense attorney.

Judge Marie McCarthy ordered Garcia held without bail, stating Bankston appeared to be behaving as a “good Samaritan” who was attempting to assist.

Garcia is scheduled to appear in court again on November 17.

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