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Article updated: 11/28/2012 4:17 PM

25 years for Elgin gang shootings that injured 3

By Harry Hitzeman

A 20-year-old Elgin man was sentenced to 25 years in prison Wednesday after admitting his role in two gang-related shootings in Elgin in which three people were injured, including one victim twice, authorities said.

Karl F. Bonilla, of the 400 block of Lowrie Court, pleaded guilty to four felony counts of aggravated battery with a firearm in exchange for other charges, including attempted murder, being dismissed.

Judge Clint Hull accepted the plea.

The shootings occurred on April 23, 2011 and May 26, 2011, respectively.

In the first shooting, prosecutors said, Bonilla opened fire with a .25-caliber handgun about 5 a.m. at a group of people who had just left a restaurant in the 300 block of South McLean Boulevard on the city's near west side. One person was hit in the upper right arm.

In the second shooting, prosecutors said, Bonilla fired several shots from a .22-caliber handgun on the porch of a home in the 0-99 block of Woodland Avenue. This time, three people were hit, including the victim from the April 23, shooting, prosecutors said. Bonilla fled from both shootings.

One person was hit in the shoulder, another in the ankle and the final person in the buttocks, prosecutors said.

Police arrested him May 26 in an unrelated case, and when he was arrested he possessed two guns. Ballistic tests showed that the .22-caliber gun matched shell casings recovered from the April 23 shooting.

Prosecutors said authorities believed that Bonilla, a street gang member, believed he was shooting at members of a rival gang and that it was coincidental that one of the people, who identified Bonilla, was a victim in both shootings.

None of the injuries were life threatening.

One person was hit in the shoulder, another in the ankle and the final person in the buttocks, prosecutors said.

Bonilla must serve 85 percent of the sentence, or a little more than 21 years. He also gets credit for about 519 days he spent in jail while his cases were pending.

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