Two Lakeview men were charged Thursday with shooting a man in the Woodlawn neighborhood last September after one of them accused a group of strangers of looking at his girlfriend. The victim was left paralyzed from the waist down, and one of the alleged offenders was accidentally shot by the other during the confrontation, prosecutors said.
A police fugitive apprehension team arrested Jaylen Brown and Rojaih Williams, both 21, at their home in the 600 block of West Oakdale on Wednesday afternoon. Prosecutors said a gun cops found in the apartment’s decorative fireplace is linked to the shooting.
Assistant State’s Attorney Franka D’Antignac said Brown, Williams, Brown’s girlfriend, and a fourth person went to an apartment building in 3600 block of South Rhodes for a party around 1:20 a.m. on September 12.
When they arrived, Brown accused a group of men standing outside the building of looking at his girlfriend, and an argument broke out, D’Antignac said. The altercation moved into the building lobby where Brown allegedly flashed a gun at the man who would later be paralyzed in the shooting, according to D’Antignac.
Brown and his companions then took an elevator to the party while the group of men stayed downstairs. But there was no party, and the foursome headed back to the lobby.
When the elevator doors opened, the group of men was still there, and Brown began arguing with them again, according to D’Antignac. When Brown and the man he flashed the gun at became involved in a physical struggle for the weapon, Williams reached for the pistol and punched another member of the group, D’Antignac said.
Brown then backed away and allegedly began shooting.
One of the men, age 27, fell to the floor with a gunshot wound to his chest. He remains paralyzed from the waist down. Another round struck Williams, who later sought treatment at a hospital, D’Antignac said.
Several witnesses and a security guard took cover as the shots rang out, according to D’Antignac. Police found 11 shell casings at the scene, all from the same gun.
Brown, Williams, the girlfriend, and the fourth member of the group allegedly ran from the building.
The shooting was recorded by the apartment building’s security cameras and the footage shows Brown firing the gun, D’Antignac said.
For the next several months, Brown and Williams tried to keep Brown’s girlfriend from contacting police by repeatedly threatening her with physical harm, sometimes while brandishing a firearm, according to D’Antignac. The men also allegedly prevented her from leaving their presence so she could not notify authorities.
Neither Brown nor Williams have criminal records.
Brown is charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery by discharging a firearm. Judge Susan Ortiz ordered him held in lieu of $500,000 bail. He’ll need to post $50,000 to get out of jail before trial.
Williams is charged with aggravated battery by discharging a firearm. Ortiz set his bail at $150,000. He will also need to post a 10% deposit bond to get out of jail.
Ortiz ordered both men to go on electronic monitoring if they post bond.