Gunman, accomplice handed off gun, swapped clothes after mass shooting near Mag Mile, prosecutors say

A Cook County judge ordered two men held without bail Sunday in connection with Thursday’s mass shooting outside the Chicago-State Red Line station that left two men dead and seven other people injured.

Prosecutors said Jaylun Sanders, 21, sprayed bursts of automatic gunfire at a group of people from the mouth of the train station’s entrance nearly an hour after an earlier incident between the victims and a group Sanders was hanging out with. Sanders was on bail for a pending felony gun case at the time of the shooting.

After the shooting, Kameron Abram, 20, allegedly took Sanders’ gun and changed sweatshirts with Sanders as they fled into the Red Line station.

An earlier clash

About 45 minutes before the shooting, police responded to another incident in the immediate area after Sanders’ group clashed with another group of people, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.

A shot was fired during that confrontation and police chased a man whom they saw running from the scene with a gun in his hand. Officers, guided by a witness, found a loaded handgun jammed with a shell casing lying under a mailbox at 7 East Pearson.

Kameron Abram (L) and Jaylun Sanders | CPD

Sanders later told police that the incident was the reason he “had a problem with” the mass shooting victims, Murphy said.

About 20 minutes after the initial incident, video cameras recorded Sanders raising part of his hoodie to cover his lower face and taking a gun from another man, Murphy said. Sanders put the gun in his waistband and remained in the area for another 20 minutes, according to Murphy.

The shooting

At 10:41 p.m., video shows Sanders’ walking west from the McDonald’s at 10 East Chicago with the second group walking several feet behind him, Murphy said. No one in the second group had a gun, reached for a gun, or even had their hands in their pockets, according to Murphy.

Standing at the top of the CTA station’s northeast entrance, Sanders pulled the gun from his waist and fired short bursts of automatic gunfire from a specially equipped pistol, Murphy said. Sanders aimed at various people and placed his spare hand over the top of his firing arm to steady it from the powerful recoil of the automatic weapon, according to Murphy.

Police later found 21 shell casings at the scene. Two men, 31-year-old Anthony Allen and Antonio Wade, 30, were killed. Seven others were injured, including a man who remains in critical condition.

CTA surveillance video allegedly shows Sanders handing the gun to Abram as they fled into the station with their group. The two men swapped sweatshirts, but Sanders eventually returned to his original hoodie because Abram’s was too small, Murphy said.

“They weren’t doing it just to see what each other’s clothing felt like,” Murphy told Judge Susana Ortiz.

Sanders’ group jumped onto the Red Line tracks and crossed to the other platform, but his girlfriend fell onto the electrified third rail as they did, Murphy said. She remained on the rail until someone pulled her off, according to Murphy. On Friday, authorities said a woman who contacted the third rail suffered burns, but survived.

Police, guided by CPD surveillance camera operators, arrested Sanders in the tunnel and Abram was arrested on the platform. A CPD canine found the gun Sanders used in the train tunnel, Murphy said.

Sanders admitted to firing the gun, but claimed the other group shot first, Murphy continued. When confronted with video evidence that showed the victims did not have guns, Sanders allegedly said they were “reaching” for weapons and he had to do it.

Murphy said Sanders told investigators he got the gun in Indiana and said the after-market switch that allowed it to generate automatic gunfire is sold on the street for $20 or $25.

Prosecutors charged Sanders with two felony counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of attempted first-degree murder, and felony unlawful use of a weapon.

Abram is charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon.

An assistant public defender argued against holding Abram without bail because he did not present a danger to the community.

“I think the nine people would disagree with that,” Murphy countered. “Two of them which can’t say anything.”

Ortiz, the judge, granted the state’s request to hold both men without bail. She also ordered Sanders held without bail for violating the terms of bond in his already-pending felony gun case.
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Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com