Uptown Shooting, Chicago Lawn Murder Committed by Same Man, Police Say
UPTOWN — The man who fatally shot a grocery store cashier in Chicago Lawn Tuesday morning also shot a father of 11 in Uptown several hours later, police said.
Joey Jones, 31, has been charged in connection with the two shootings. The arrest came after police released a description of Jones, of the 3000 block of West Armitage Avenue, Tuesday afternoon.
At 6:05 a.m. Tuesday in Chicago Lawn, police said the man approached a cashier inside a grocery store in the 2400 block of West 63rd Street.
"After exchanging words about purchasing merchandise, the subject attempted to exit the store with the merchandise," a police statement said. "An employee attempted to block the subject's path, at which time the subject produced a handgun and shot and killed the employee."
The victim — later identified as Omar Maslat, 57, of the 7200 block of West 87th Street in southwest suburban Bridgeview — was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center at 7:05 a.m. Tuesday.
The gunman fled the store in a late model white Ford Crown Victoria north on Artesian Avenue, police said.
He then headed to Uptown, where he shot another victim in his head about 9:45 a.m. in a strip mall parking lot in the 1000 block of West Wilson Avenue, said Officer Michael Sullivan, a police spokesman. The strip mall includes a Dunkin Donuts and Payless shoe store.
People on the scene said they were told the men were fighting over a parking spot and police described the shooting as a "road rage incident," but wouldn't elaborate.
The victim's girlfriend of seven years, Jessica Rosado, identified the victim as 50-year-old Brion Payne.
"We were always hopeful that they were going to find who did it," Rosado said Wednesday.
Payne was taken in critical condition to Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital after the crime. Rosado said the father of her children was unconscious and fighting for his life. The North Lawndale residents have three young children together, and Payne has eight children from a previous marriage.
He was taking a break at the time of the shooting, according to Rosado and his employer, medical supplies transportation company Safari Trans.
"He was going to get coffee," Rosado said. "He's not a drug dealer, he's not a drug user; he works, and he comes home to his wife and kids."
Payne was shot in the back of his head and a bullet was left lodged in the front of his face. Doctors removed the bullet, but Payne suffered broken vertebrae as a result of the crime and was experiencing "excessive bleeding," Rosado said Tuesday.
As of Wednesday morning Payne's condition is "still critical, nothing has changed," Rosado said.
"He's still unconscious," she said. "I'm going to still be there at the hospital every day until he wakes up."
The strip mall where the shooting happened, at the corner of Wilson and Broadway, is known as a crime hot spot and has been the site of numerous shootings, many gang-related. Public drinking and drug dealing also has been a problem in that area.
Rosado insisted that Payne was not involved in illegal activity and did not know why someone would have targeted him.
The shooting "does not appear gang-related," 46th Ward Ald. James Cappleman tweeted Tuesday. Cappleman said the incident was caught on camera.