No Charges After Man, 76, Shoots Tenant During Argument

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(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Charges will not be filed against a man taken into custody Sunday after a fatal shooting near Lockport, officials said.

The 76-year-old called 9-1-1 about 9:36 a.m. after shooting Patrick Bernotas, 36, in a home in the 100 block of Pendleton Street, the Will County sheriff’s office said in a statement.

The shooting stemmed from an argument over $20,000 Bernotas owed the 76-year-old for back rent, the sheriff’s office said. The man said Bernotas threatened him after he was served with a five-day eviction notice.

According to the sheriff’s office, the home was in “deplorable” conditions and was unfit for occupation.

The man went into his downstairs bedroom and closed the door, but the pair continued arguing, the sheriff’s office said. Afraid that Bernotas might start a fight, the man said he pulled out a revolver and placed it on a chair.

A short time later, the man said he picked up the gun after hearing Bernotas approach his room and fired shots when Bernotas swung open the door in an “aggressive manner,” the sheriff’s office said.

Bernotas went upstairs and collapsed on a couch in the living room, the sheriff’s office said. The man called 9-1-1 and performed CPR on Bernotas.

An autopsy conducted Monday by the Will County coroner’s office found Bernotas died of a gunshot wound to the chest, the sheriff’s office said. He was struck with one round at close range.

“After reviewing the case, the State’s Attorney’s Office elected not to charge the suspect with a crime at this time,” the sheriff’s office said.

Evidence is still being analyzed and the case will remain open until results of those tests are available, the sheriff’s office said.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire & Chicago Sun-Times 2020. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)