Prosecutors say father opened fire at birthday party for tot at Safari Land

  • Meco Norris

    Meco Norris

Updated 11/16/2021 6:31 AM

Bail was set at $1 million Monday for a Chicago man charged with shooting another man during a child's birthday party over the weekend at the Safari Land indoor amusement park in Villa Park.

Meco Norris, 25, of the 3000 block of North Spaulding Avenue, faces one count of first-degree attempted murder, one count of aggravated battery/discharge of a firearm, and one count of reckless discharge of a firearm, according to the DuPage County state's attorney's office.


Lombard and Villa Park police responded at 6:56 p.m. Saturday to the report of shots fired at Safari Land, 701 W. North Ave.

Authorities said Norris pulled out a handgun and shot the victim three times. Fifty or more people were in the park when the shooting occurred, officials said.

The victim was shot in the right chest, right shoulder and right elbow. He was taken to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, where he was treated and released.

Prosecutors said the victim was attending a birthday party for his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter, who also is Norris' daughter. Norris was not invited to the party.

Officials said Norris made threats to his daughter's mother and the victim before the shooting. Norris and the victim had never met, according to prosecutors.

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Norris was captured without incident the following day at his home, officials said, where a coat and hat resembling those identified by witnesses also were found.

Police recovered the handgun on Sunday night after a homeowner found it under a carport near Safari Land.

During a Monday morning hearing, Judge Michael Reidy set bail at $1 million. Norris needs to post 10% of that to get out of jail. Prosecutors recommended $1.5 million. The public defender representing Norris suggested $20,000.

"While dozens of children enjoyed an evening at a popular indoor children's amusement park with their families, it is alleged that Mr. Norris pulled a loaded weapon, aimed it at another man and fired, striking his victim three times." State's Attorney Robert Berlin said in a written statement. "Mr. Norris' alleged actions, with multiple children literally just feet away, demonstrate the most horrifying disregard for public safety I have seen in my 30-plus years as a prosecutor."

Norris' arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 17.

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