A suspect in a Lincoln Park shooting was himself shot four days later near ‘The Bean’ sculpture, then escaped from a hospital and was finally arrested at his home over the weekend .
Tyshon Brownlee, 19, has been charged with attempted murder and armed robbery. In all, Brownlee is charged with five armed robberies in Lincoln Park, Lake View, Edgewater and Uptown. Police said Brownlee confessed.
During the Lincoln Park attack, Brownlee allegedly shot Dakotah Earley three times as Earley shouted his phone passcode, a shooting caught on surveillance video.
Earley, 23, was walking down a sidewalk at Webster and Wayne avenues around 3 a.m. on May 6 when he was confronted by Brownlee, who came out from behind a building, pointed a gun and demanded his phone laptop, police said.
Video shared with the CWB website captured Earley grappling with the shooter, who grabbed his phone and demanded the passcode. Brownlee then opened fire at close range and shot him in the head and back, police said.
Brownlee’s accomplice could be seen exiting a white car during the struggle, according to the video.
Earley remains hospitalized at the Masonic Medical Center in Illinois. He was shot in the jaw and will eventually need voicemail to communicate, according to Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd), who added that Earley’s grateful mother was already on a plane to Chicago from Atlanta.
The day after the attack, detectives began going through the video and were able to identify Brownlee as a suspect, Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said. Then, on May 10, Brownlee was injured near “The Bean” sculpture in Millennium Park and was taken to Stroger Hospital.
By the time detectives on the case realized Brownlee was at Stroger, he was already gone, “probably figuring out what was going on,” Deenihan said. Brownlee was arrested at his home in Oak Park on Sunday.
Hopkins said police told him Brownlee was part of a team of robbers “responsible for an extensive network of armed robberies over the previous two weeks, across Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Edgewater and Uptown.”
“During these attacks, offenders wearing ski masks drove stolen cars through residential neighborhoods at night, looking for unsuspecting people walking alone or in small groups,” Hopkins said. “They would then suddenly jump out of the vehicle with guns robbing their terrified victims of phones, purses and wallets.”
Deenihan noted that robbery teams in Chicago “often get more violent as they go along”, although he couldn’t say exactly why Earley was shot when the other victims weren’t.
“In this specific case, you could almost hear on the video, he picks up the victim’s phone, and then he starts asking for the passcode,” Deenihan said.
“And so I can’t tell you specifically, that’s the reason. You know, obviously the victim in this case, you know, fought back… You can see on the video, his initial instinct is to fight back, and then immediately that leads to the shooting.
At a press conference announcing the charges, Superintendent of Police. David Brown stressed the importance of private security cameras, noting footage of the shooting helped in the arrest.
“They help us solve crimes faster,” Brown said. “But more importantly, they help us bring violent offenders on our streets to justice.
“We will not tolerate violence in this city,” the superintendent added. “Too many precious lives are being harmed or taken away out of sheer disregard for human life, and that is unacceptable.”