3-time gun offender is charged with Rogers Park murder than went viral

Editor’s note: Steven Hayer is the brother of North Side rap performer Keith “Bang Da Hitta” Hayer, who has been jailed since being charged with committing a murder in Uptown in 2018.

A three-time convicted gun offender was charged Wednesday with shooting an acquaintance in the back of his head at point-blank range in Rogers Park last year — a murder that spread widely as a viral video.

Steven Hayer, 26, was arrested Tuesday.

Surveillance video from a home on the 1400 block of West Lunt captured the murder of Angelo Pullum, 36, around 7 a.m. on June 28, 2020. In the footage, Pullum and another man mill about on the sidewalk before the second man moves behind Pullum, pulls out a gun, and shoots him directly in the back of the head.

Pullum was killed instantly.

Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said Pullum and Hayer exchanged 12 phone calls in the hour before the shooting. Witnesses allegedly told police that a black Jeep pulled up to Pullum and his companions, and Hayer got out of the SUV’s passenger seat. He began talking with the group and Pullum, whom he has known for some time, Murphy said.

Other members of the group left, and Pullum and Hayer walked down the street to where the murder took place, according to Murphy. A witness allegedly saw Hayer running to the Jeep and getting back inside with a gun in his hand. That witness then discovered Pullum’s body.

Another witness allegedly provided investigators with screenshots of Hayer’s Facebook page and said Hayer was the killer. Cellphone data put Hayer in the area of the murder when it happened, according to Murphy.

Pullum’s mother contacted police two days after her son’s death because she found Hayer’s wallet, ID, and other property in her son’s belongings, Murphy said.

On Monday, CPD officers believed they saw a handgun sticking out of Hayer’s pocket as they monitored surveillance cameras at a CHA project on the 500 block of West Iowa, according to Murphy.

Hayer, carrying a black Nike bookbag, ran when police arrived and began knocking on doors as cops moved closer. One of the residents opened her front door because she thought her sister was the one knocking. Hayer pushed his way inside and ran to the second-floor, Murphy said.

From there, he yelled out to officers that he did not have a gun, according to Murphy. The occupants of the home, who do not know Hayer, allowed police inside to arrest him.

Near the window where Hayer yelled to police, cops found a plastic bag containing 79 smaller bags of suspected cocaine, Murphy said. Police found the black Nike bag under a mattress in the room. It allegedly held Hayer’s birth certificate, other personal items, and a loaded handgun.

Prosecutors charged Hayer with first-degree murder, armed habitual criminal, criminal trespass to a residence, and possessing a controlled substance.

Murphy said Hayer was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm two times in 2017. He was also convicted of unlawful gun possession in a school in 2012.

Hayer’s public defender said he holds down two jobs, including one in which he works for an attorney who is “doing restorative justice.” The defense lawyer said that Hayer is engaged and has one child with another on the way.

Judge Charles Beach ordered Hayer to be held without bail on the murder case. Beach set bail at $400,000 for the other charges.

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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