A West Chicago man was found guilty Friday of shooting two men last summer during a confrontation between rival gang factions after the city's Railroad Days festival.
A DuPage County jury deliberated about 3½ hours before convicting Christopher Einecker of charges including aggravated battery and aggravated discharge of a firearm.
Einecker opened fire July 9, 2010, on a group of rival gang members, striking one in the chest and the other in the leg, prosecutors said. Both victims recovered.
The shooting erupted about 10 p.m. in the area of Freemont Street and Grand Lake Boulevard in West Chicago after the victims passed Einecker and another man, Bradley Taylor, in a Chevy Suburban and yelled gang slogans.
A 17-year-old Addison Trail High School student was shot in the chest, and an Elmhurst man, also 17, was struck in the leg as they exited the Suburban, authorities said.
Taylor, then 22, of Warrenville, initially confessed to pulling the trigger and was charged. But police later recorded Einecker identifying himself as the real shooter to Taylor's sister, telling her Taylor confessed to protect him.
On Friday, Einecker testified that he falsely confessed so Taylor's family would hire an attorney and mount a defense.
But prosecutors said only Einecker's DNA was found on the .25-caliber semiautomatic handgun used in the shooting, and his confession corroborated other details of the crime.
"This defendant was prepared to let Bradley Taylor rot in jail. In the defendant's mind, that's what gangsters do for each other," said Assistant State's Attorney Ken Tatarelis, who prosecuted the case with Assistant State's Attorney Kirsten King.
The shooting happened after Einecker and Taylor, along with their girlfriends, left West Chicago's annual Railroad Days festival on foot. They were less than a block from Einecker's home on Arbor Avenue when bullets began to fly.
Einecker will be sentenced by Judge Blanche Hill Fawell, who presided over his trial. He returns to court next month.
Taylor pleaded guilty to resisting or obstructing a police officer and received probation in exchange for his testimony at Einecker's trial.