Exclusive: Wicker Park man sought in connection with murder of ex-Marine at Jackson Red Line

Fajour Hodges displays gang signs outside the McDonald’s restaurant at 10 East Chicago. | Facebook

Update 7:13PM – Fajour Hodges is now in police custody, according to CPD.

A Cook County Judge has signed an arrest warrant for a 19-year-old Wicker Park man in connection with the murder of Mamadou Balde, a former Marine who died last week after two men pushed him between the cars of a Red Line train in the Loop.

The warrant, signed by Judge Mary Margaret Brosnahan, calls for the arrest of Fajour Hodges of the 1200 block of North Artesian, according to court records. A complaint from prosecutors accuses Hodges of first-degree murder.

Last Saturday, prosecutors charged 18-year-old North Center resident Ryan Munn with murder in the case.

Ryan Munn (white shirt) has been seen regularly outside the State-Chicago McDonald’s, where drug transactions and other crimes are common. | Provided

Munn and Hodges are well-known to police who patrol the area near the Magnificent Mile. Last September, the two men were allegedly part of a retail shoplifting mob that stole more than $2,000 worth of merchandise from a Gold Coast 7-Eleven store.  The crime was captured on video.

Munn was never charged in the case, but prosecutors charged Hodges with felony retail theft and felony theft. That case remains unresolved.

During Munn’s bail hearing last weekend, an assistant state’s attorney said CTA surveillance video showed Balde smiling and jokingly raising his fists at a man on the Jackson platform around 5:13 p.m. on Apr. 8. 

The other man — whom police and prosecutors believe is Hodges — punched Balde before Munn stepped in and pushed the ex-Marine between two cars of a southbound Red Line train, according to the state’s allegations. The train dragged Balde to his death.

7-Eleven surveillance images of Munn and Hodges entering the store before last year’s theft. | Provided

CWBChicago reported last week that the two suspects were identified by name after officers in the 18th District recognized them from CTA surveillance images that the department distributed internally.

Hodges was arrested five times in 2019, including three times near the Magnificent Mile. Once for the 7-Eleven shoplifting, once for possessing a stolen Divvy bike, and once for trespassing at a condo building, according to court records.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com