Wheeling man charged with shooting cop held without bond

  • Volodymyr Dragan

    Volodymyr Dragan

 
 
Updated 8/17/2019 7:08 PM

A 43-year-old gunman whose Thursday afternoon standoff with police left one officer wounded and a Wheeling neighborhood barricaded for hours is being held in jail without bond.

Citing police videos and statements that Volodymyr Dragan gave to police, Cook County Associate Judge Charles S. Beach II on Saturday ruled that Dragan would be held in custody because "he is a real and present threat to the safety of the community."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Officials said Dragan was speeding on his motorcycle when he was pulled over about 1:30 a.m. Thursday on the Tri-State Tollway near Glenview by an Illinois State Police trooper. While sitting in the back seat of the squad car, Dragan pulled out a 9-mm handgun and "negotiated" his release and drove away on his motorcycle without he or the officer opening fire, said Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Margaret Johnson.

When police and a SWAT team arrived at Dragan's home on the 400 block of Hickory Drive on Thursday afternoon, Dragan fired two or three shots at police because "he wanted officers to know he was there," Johnson said.

Later, an Illinois State Police trooper was shot in the arm, and Dragan said he fired the shot because "he wanted to teach him a lesson," Johnson said. Fellow officers applied a tourniquet to the wounded officer's arm, and he was treated and released from the hospital.

After police used a battering ram mounted on the front of a truck to break through the front of his townhouse, Dragan walked out of his home Thursday evening with his hands on his head and wearing a holster. Police arrested him and he was later charged with a variety of felonies, including attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm to a police officer, aggravated assault of a police officer, and aggravated unlawful restraint.

Dragan, who grew up in Ukraine and speaks Ukrainian, Russian and English, studied at Ivano-Frankivsk National Technical University of Oil and Gas, a higher education company based in Ukraine. He began work in 1996 as lead engineer inspector at power plants and substations for the Burshtyn power station in Ukraine, and received a master's degree in electrotechnical systems of electricity supply in 2003. In 2008, he was hired at Gas Technology Institute in Des Plaines, but a company spokeswoman said Dragan left voluntarily in May 2018.

His next court appearance is Tuesday at the Cook County courthouse in Rolling Meadows.

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