CHICAGO (CBS) -- A man has pleaded guilty to federal charges accusing him of
Eugene McLaurin, 31, pleaded guilty Tuesday to three counts of assaulting a federal officer and two counts of using a firearm during a crime of violence. The charges carry a sentence of up to life in prison.
McLaurin is accused of shooting two ATF agents and a Chicago police officer on July 7, 2021, as they were conducting an undercover investigation in Morgan Park.
Chicago police have said the officer and agents were in an unmarked vehicle when they noticed a white Chevy Malibu following them, and they wrote down the vehicle's license plate. The Malibu pulled up alongside them while they were driving onto Interstate 57 at 119th Street, and McLaurin started shooting.
In his plea agreement, McLaurin admitted he believed the officer and agents were members of a rival gang. The officer and agents were seriously wounded, but survived their injuries.
Federal prosecutors said, after the shooting, McLaurin threw his gun down a sewer drain, and hid his car key in the basement of his home in an attempt to cover up his involvement in the shootings.
McLaurin, about five miles away from the scene of the shooting. A police source said the car was recovered through a GPS tracker that had been placed on the vehicle by law enforcement, some time before the shooting.
Federal prosecutors said McLaurin's ID was found in the car.
According to the charges, when police went to the home Wednesday morning and questioned McLaurin, he "appeared sweaty and visibly nervous." An officer took a picture of McLaurin and texted it to one of the victims, who said McLaurin's twist hair style matched the shooter's, but the victim couldn't positively identify him from the photo.
McLaurin was taken in for questioning, and later admitted that he began following the unmarked law enforcement vehicle because he "believed that it was a vehicle driven by 'opps,' referring to members of a rival street gang," the charges state.
He also admitted to opening fire with a Glock 9mm handgun, which he later dumped in a drain. Authorities found spent 9mm shell casings at the scene of the shooting and inside the Malibu.
McLaurin has a lengthy criminal record dating back to 2013, including multiple convictions on drug and gun charges.
His sentencing hearing has been scheduled for March 13.
for more features.