A security guard savagely fired more than 20 bullets on a busy street with no regard for who else might be injured after being shot in the leg during a confrontation with another man earlier this week, say Cook County prosecutors in court on Friday.
Victor Brown missed his target, but one of the bullets he fired on Tuesday afternoon instead hit a 55-year-old grandmother in the chest as she walked towards a bank four blocks away, prosecutors said.
Bobbye Johnson, whose family said she “loved God, loved the church, loved her grandchildren”, later died.
Brown, 34, faces first degree murder in her death.
Because Brown was still hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the thigh and did not attend the hearing, Judge Kelly McCarthy said state law did not allow her to hold him without bail.
Instead, the judge said he would have to deposit $1 million to be released.
McCarthy has scheduled another hearing for Brown on Monday to have that bond reviewed — or revoked, if he’s released from the hospital by then.
An assistant public defender for Brown said his client appeared to be defending himself when he opened fire around 4 p.m. that day on a busy stretch of 35th Street not far from Chicago police headquarters.
Brown was initially shot by a man who was a “known nuisance” and had previously been banned from the store where Brown worked as a security guard, the defense attorney said.
Brown was working as a guard at a liquor store and tying up a Jamaican jerk chicken restaurant when he saw the man leaving the restaurant, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.
Security video recorded Brown arguing with the man, who then raised his fists in the air near his face as they approached, Murphy said. The man then put his hands inside his jacket and fired once through the pocket, hitting Brown in the leg.
Brown fell to the ground as the man who shot him, known by his nickname “Renegade”, fled, Murphy said. The man was already a block away when Brown drew and fired a “starter pistol that contained nothing but blanks,” Murphy said.
Another security guard with a permit to carry a concealed weapon drew his own pistol but chose not to shoot, ‘because there were too many bystanders around’ and the man who shot Brown was too away, Murphy said.
Brown then took that guard’s gun and began firing as he lay on the ground, although the man known as “Renegade” was a few blocks away at the time, Murphy said.
A nurse waiting in a nearby CTA bus shelter who saw the shooting unfold said she yelled at Brown to stop shooting because the man he was aiming at “was nowhere to be found”, Murphy said.
Brown, also faces an unlawful use of a weapon charge because, as a convicted felon, he is not permitted to possess a firearm, Murphy said.
Brown’s defense attorney argued that he only possessed a gun because circumstances compelled him to use one.
Cook County court records show Brown was arrested at least 10 times, including for unlawful possession of firearms, battery, household battery and armed robbery.
Most cases were dropped, but he pleaded guilty to domestic assault in 2015 and armed robbery without a firearm in 2010. He was sentenced to 100 days in Cook County Jail for the first cases and six years at the Illinois Department of Corrections. other.
The man known as “Renegade” was still not in custody as of Friday afternoon, police said.
At a press conference at the time of the hearing, Superintendent of Police. David Brown said detectives could release surveillance video of the shooting to identify him.
A source familiar with the video described Victor Brown’s actions in the footage as “breathtaking” in their recklessness and expressed amazement that more people were not injured.
The superintendent said it was still unclear whether Victor Brown was employed by a security company at the time of the shooting, but said instead it appeared he had ‘a very loose relationship’ with the store to ensure safety.
A person who answered the phone at the restaurant on Friday said a manager or owner was not immediately available to answer questions.
Johnson was known for her gospel singing, which she wrote in part herself and shared on YouTube, her family said.
“She was so kind to everyone, even if you did something wrong, she would always have the best to say,” they said in a statement after her death.
Supt. Brown said he hopes the charges bring a “small measure” of closure to his family.
“You are in our prayers,” he added. “Ms. Johnson should be here, but for the reckless driving of the accused person.