2 face gun charges after Mag Mile department store brawl; At least 22 firearms sized on and near Michigan Ave so far this month

Oshaei Southernland (left) and Theodric Williamson | CPD

Prosecutors have filed felony charges against two men who allegedly carried guns during a brawl that stretched between a pair of Mag Mile department stores on Friday afternoon.

The charges come as 18th District cops seize an average of one gun per day on or near the landmark retail strip during December — including three firearms recovered on Sunday afternoon.

Around 2:20 p.m. Friday, police responded to multiple calls of two large groups brawling on the fourth floor of Neiman Marcus, 737 North Michigan. Some of the 911 callers reported seeing a handgun displayed, and people yelling, “he has a gun.”

Before police arrived, one of the groups ran out of the store and entered Saks Fifth Avenue across the street.

Cops arrested two men inside Saks for allegedly possessing illegal firearms. And one of the men is also charged with identity theft for allegedly carrying Illinois unemployment debit cards and bank debit cards bearing other people’s names.

Members of the second group reportedly began running as police arrived on the seventh floor of Saks Fifth Avenue, 700 North Michigan. Prosecutors said Theodric Williamson, 21, and Oshaei Southernland, 27, ran down several escalators to get away from police.

Southernland allegedly took off his jacket and ditched a fanny pack under a hand sanitizer station on the third floor. A store security officer monitoring surveillance cameras saw him hide the fanny pack, and another worker recovered it for police, prosecutors said.

Chicago police released this image of three handguns that the department said were seized during Friday’s incident. | CPD

Cops arrested Southernland on the first floor. They found a loaded 9-millimeter handgun, seven unemployment debit cards issued in other names, three bank debit cards issued in other names, and another person’s state ID inside the fanny pack, prosecutors alleged.

Police spoke with two of the people whose names appeared on the unemployment cards. Neither of them knows Southernland, and neither had filed for unemployment, Assistant State’s Attorney Carolyn Nevin said Sunday.

According to prosecutors, police also chased after the other man, Williamson, and found a gun in his waistband as he was arrested.

He is charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon. Judge David Navarro set his bail at $10,000 and ordered him to go onto electronic monitoring if he can post a $1,000 deposit bond.

Southernland is charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and identity theft. Navarro said he could get out of jail by posting a $2,500 deposit bond.

Approximate locations of gun seizures near the Magnificent Mile during December.

Police confiscated a third handgun during Friday’s incident, too, but no one is charged with possessing it.

About three hours after Southernland’s midday bond court appearance Sunday, Chicago police seized three handguns after a suspect crashed his car and ran from officers near Michigan Avenue and Walton Street. Charges are pending.

As of Sunday evening, at least 22 illegal firearms have been recovered by police on or near the Mag Mile during December, according to CPD reports.

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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