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Detective, prosecutor testify Dante Servin said he feared for his life when he shot civilians

(CHICAGO) A Chicago Police detective and Cook County prosecutor testified Thursday that Dante Servin told them he opened fire toward a group of West Side partygoers because he saw a gun pointed at him.

“He thought for sure he was going to get shot,” lead Detective Ed Heerdt said, testifying for the prosecution in Servin’s involuntary manslaughter trial.

Servin, an off-duty Chicago Police detective, fatally shot 22-year-old Rekia Boyd and injured her friend Antonio Cross after confronting them and two others about the raucous gathering by his home near Douglas Park, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

Servin told Heerdt and prosecutor Maria Burnett that Cross reached into his waistband, pulled out a dark gun and charged toward him in the early morning hours of March 21, 2012.

Servin even relayed to Burnett that he thought a bullet hit him when he felt “something” by his head as he sat in his Mercedes near an alley at 15th Street and Albany Avenue.

“He believed he had been shot, so he reached for his weapon,” Burnett said.

Servin was not wounded or attacked, prosecutors said, arguing that all Cross was armed with was his cellphone.

Chicago Police Detective Mark Regal testified Thursday that no weapons turned up on the scene after an hours-long search.

But Burnett said Servin believed Cross “had a gun and got rid of it.”

Burnett said Servin, now 46, walked her through the chain of events leading to Boyd’s death when she was prosecuting Cross’ aggravated assault case tied to the shootings.

The misdemeanor charge against Cross was eventually dismissed.

Servin had told Burnett that minutes before Boyd was shot in the back of her head, he smelled marijuana wafting from the park when he pulled up to his home after a long day serving as an election judge.

He went inside, called 911 to complain about the revelers, and then came back outside to get a hamburger when he saw Boyd and her three friends at the mouth of the alley, Burnett said Servin told her.

Heerdt said Servin then got into his car, drove out slowly to the group and told them to keep the noise down.

“No one will call the police if you’re quiet,” Heerdt said Servin told them. “People live here.”

As he tried to take a turn, Servin told Heerdt, he heard someone say, “I don’t give a f—” and looked up to see Cross running toward him “aggressively and quickly.”

Servin “tucked in and braced” because he thought he’d get shot, Heerdt said.

“Don’t! Don’t! Police! Police!” Heerdt said Servin said he screamed before opening fire.

The first two shots came “quick,” but Servin told Burnett he intentionally aimed at Cross for the last three shots.

Cross fled the scene but then returned, repeatedly saying, “It was a misunderstanding,” Servin told Heerdt.

“You tried to shoot me. Tell the truth,” Servin allegedly told Cross.

Servin said that the surveillance camera at his home was “inoperable and I was satisfied with that” answer, Heerdt said.

Defense attorneys asked Judge Dennis Porter to drop the charges against Servin after prosecutors rested their case Thursday.

“He only shot in self-defense,” Servin’s attorney, Darren O’Brien, said.

Prosecutor Bill Delaney noted that only Servin had a weapon, which he fired at unarmed civilians.

Porter said he will rule on the defense’s motion when the case continues on Monday afternoon.

If the motion is denied, defense attorneys plan to call Boyd and Cross’ friend — Mantise Stevenson — on the stand.

Servin also is facing charges of reckless discharge of a firearm and reckless conduct.

— Chicago Sun-Times

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