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Rogers Park Shooter Fired 10 Times, Hit Unintended Victim: Prosecutors

By  Benjamin Woodard and Erin Meyer | July 14, 2014 9:52am | Updated on July 14, 2014 2:33pm

 Eric Vaughn, 31, was charged with first-degree murder, police said.
Eric Vaughn, 31, was charged with first-degree murder, police said.
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Craig Gernhardt (inset: Chicago Police Department)

ROGERS PARK — The life of a young photographer was cut short Saturday by a bullet meant for someone else, prosecutors said.

Members of the Conservative Vice Lords, Eric Vaughn and an uncharged accomplice were gunning for a rival Saturday afternoon when one of them opened fire on a busy street in the 1300 block of West Devon Avenue, prosecutors said.

The rival gang member they were targeting managed to escape unscathed, but photographer William Lewis, 28, an innocent man waiting nearby for a bus, was fatally struck in the back, prosecutors said.

Vaughn, a 31-year-old man just recently released from prison after serving seven years for a 2004 attempted murder, was ordered held without bail Monday after Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Glen Runk detailed the allegations against him.

Runk said Vaughn and a second man, who has not been charged, were in a car with some other people traveling along Devon Avenue when the second person saw a rival gang member on the street. The second man told Vaughn, who was driving, that he wanted to shoot the rival, Runk said. Vaughn responded by pulling the car over and handing him a gun.

"Vaughn told the uncharged [co-offender] to 'Wet that T-shirt up,' which meant to make [the victim] bleed," Runk said.

The alleged shooter got out of the car and fired about 10 times, missing his intended target, but hitting Lewis in the back, prosecutors said. The shooter then ran across Devon Avenue, chasing the rival gang member down Glenwood Avenue, Runk said. Others in the car also ran away, authorities said.

Vaughn then drove around looking for the alleged shooter and others that were in the car, prosectors said.

One witness at the scene allegedly saw Vaughn speeding the wrong way down a one way street after the shooting, according to a police report.

Another witness flagged down police to report he saw a man erratically driving a black Toyota Camry on Devon Avene after the shooting. That witness was able to give police a description of the man's clothing, according to the report.

Vaughn, who prosecutors said had parked his car near the scene, was quickly found by police in the 6300 block of North Wayne Avenue and taken into custody, the report said.

The alleged shooter, along with other people who had been riding in Vaughn's car, were photographed by a witness after the shooting as they ran, Runk said.

Vaughn, of the 4400 block of North Clarendon Avenue, is charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and reckless driving in the daytime shooting of Lewis, police said.

Ben Woodard spoke with some of the victim's friends and shares their reactions:

Lewis, a Rogers Park resident who recently moved from Ravenswood, was taken in critical condition to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, where he was pronounced dead at 3:58 p.m.

Friends Monday said they were stunned to hear that Lewis was shot.

"It’s shocking that that would ever happen to him," said Molly, a friend of Lewis' who didn't want to share her last name publicly.

She said she worked with Lewis during photo shoots for clothing stores.

"There’s no way that anyone would ever want to do that to him," she said. "We're all dumbfounded. He was such a sweet guy."

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