2 men charged with murder of off-duty Chicago police officer John Rivera, including would-be cop

Two men have been arrested for the murder of Chicago police officer John Rivera, who was ambushed and gunned down hours after finishing his shift this weekend, authorities said Monday.

One of the suspects, accused shooter 24-year-old Menelik Jackson, was an applicant to be an officer for the Chicago Police Department, Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told ABC News.

Jackson, of South Holland, Illinois, was arrested during a polygraph test for a background check for committing an armed home invasion. A judge subsequently put him on probation, Guglielmi said.

Jackson and his accused co-conspirator, Jovan Battle, 32, of Chicago, will each face one felony count of first-degree murder and three felony counts of attempted murder, Guglielmi said on Twitter. Jackson also faces charges of resisting police after trying to flee during arrest, he said.

Guglielmi tweeted, “Cooperating witnesses, 18th District’s strategic decision support center, cameras and license plate reader technology which allowed us to enter the plate of the gettaway car into a database, led police to the shooters car on south side and ultimately, his apartment.”

The killing unfolded early Saturday morning, a few hours after 23-year-old Rivera finished his shift. He was leaving a nightclub in downtown Chicago with another off-duty officer and two friends when they were ambushed, police said.

Rivera was shot and killed. One of his friends was also shot and wounded. The unidentified victim was in critical condition and undergoing surgery over the weekend, police said.

An off-duty Chicago police officer was shot and killed while sitting in a vehicle early Saturday morning, March 23, 2019.(ABC News) An off-duty Chicago police officer was shot and killed while sitting in a vehicle early Saturday morning, March 23, 2019.

“It’s just a shame, this kid, 23 years old, had his whole life and career ahead of him, and he gets gunned down senselessly,” Eddie Johnson, the superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, said at a press conference Saturday. “Right now, I’m disgusted.”

“Mark my words, we will find them,” Johnson vowed.

ABC News’ Ryan Burrow, Olivia Rubin and Stephanie Wash contributed to this report.

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