A convicted felon who posted $200 to get out of jail for his third illegal firearm case was one of two gunmen in a mass shooting that injured five people in Gresham last month, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Devon Harding is now the 33rd person accused of killing, trying to kill, or shooting someone in Chicago this year while awaiting trial for another felony.
Last April, prosecutors charged Harding with felony unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, and he went home by posting the $200 deposit, court records show. According to CPD records, officers last April arrested Harding in connection with a different murder investigation, but he was never charged with the killing.
Shortly after noon on July 14, while still on bail for the pending gun case, Harding and another gunman pulled up to the 7900 block of South Justine, got out of their car, and opened fire on a group of people who were standing on the street, according to police and prosecutors.
Police who responded to a ShotSpotter alert and 911 calls found five victims at the scene:
- A 40-year-old man who was critically wounded by a gunshot wound to his face. He reportedly spent 13 days in the hospital undergoing surgery and recovering.
- A 27-year-old woman who suffered a graze wound to her hip.
- A 33-year-old man who was seriously wounded by a gunshot to his back
- A 36-year-old man who was shot in the ankle
- A 49-year-old man who was shot in the right side and seriously wounded
Prosecutors only charged Harding with shooting the first two victims because the other three either could not be found or refused to cooperate with police, an assistant state’s attorney said during Harding’s bail hearing.
The woman who was grazed allegedly told police she recognized Harding as one of the shooters by his hairstyle, jewelry, and underwear. According to prosecutors, she said she knew him from the neighborhood and gave him his nickname to police, who used a law enforcement database to connect the nickname to Harding. Investigators included his picture in a photo line-up, and the woman identified him as one of the shooters, prosecutors said.
Harding is charged with two counts of felony aggravated battery by discharging a firearm.
“He’s 21 years of age, Mr. Harding is, and his body of work is already quite extensive,” Judge Charles Beach said while mulling possible bail conditions for Harding. “He has two prior gun cases. He has a third prior gun case that was from a juvenile in 2015. I’ll also note two possession of stolen motor vehicles while he was a juvenile. Taking all of those things into consideration, I certainly do believe he is a danger to the community.”
Beach then ordered Harding held without bail in the shooting and held without bail for violating the terms of bond in his pending gun case.
Editor’s note: This report continues our coverage of individuals who have been charged with murder, attempted murder, or trying to kill a person while on bond for a pending felony case. CWBChicago began our series of reports in November 2019 after Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans publicly stated, “we haven’t had any horrible incidents occur” under the court’s bond reform initiative. You can support CWBChicago’s work by becoming a subscriber today.
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