Teen charged with ‘ambush’ murder during carjacking attempt has been arrested 3 times for felonies since 2021, prosecutors say

Chicago — A 17-year-old accused of shooting a man to death during a carjacking attempt at an Englewood gas station this week has been charged with two gun crimes and a stolen motor vehicle case in juvenile court since 2021, prosecutors said Thursday, but all of those cases were either diverted or “informally adjusted.”

Rafael Harvey did not attend his bail hearing in person on Thursday morning because one of the victims shot him during the carjacking attempt and he remains hospitalized in serious condition, according to officials.

The gas station’s surveillance system recorded the alleged hijacking attempt and shooting. Chicago Contrarian posted footage of the crime earlier this week.

Prosecutor Anne McCord said the murder victim, 45, drove his 36-year-old male passenger to Citgo, 1161 West 63rd, around 2:35 a.m. Tuesday. While the passenger was making a purchase inside the store, a stolen Hyundai with a broken rear side window pulled to a stop next to the victims’ car.

Moments after the passenger returned to his seat, two men emerged from the driver’s side of the stolen Hyundai to “ambush” the victims, McCord said. Harvey, armed with a 45-caliber handgun, opened the front door of the victim’s car while pointing a gun into the vehicle, according to McCord.

One of the victims opened fire, hitting Harvey in his right shoulder. Harvey and the accomplice, armed with a rifle, opened fire on the victims, McCord said, killing the driver and striking the passenger in his legs.

Despite his injuries, the passenger managed to get out of the car and run away as the gunman armed with a rifle continued to shoot at him. Police later recovered a handgun from the surviving victim, McCord said.

Harvey and his accomplice pulled up to St. Bernard Hospital in the stolen Hyundai within ten minutes. Hospital video shows them wearing the same clothing as the hijackers and also shows the accomplice leaving the hospital in the stolen Hyundai with Harvey’s fur-lined coat, McCord said.

Not long before the hijacking, Harvey’s girlfriend called 911 and claimed that Harvey had threatened to shoot her, according to McCord. Body cameras worn by responding officers captured footage of Harvey and the at large accomplice during that incident, but no arrests were made.

Police found the stolen Hyundai used in the murder about four houses down from Harvey’s home, McCord said.

He was arrested twice for gun violations in 2021, but both cases were resolved with “informal adjustments,” McCord reported. In March of last year, Harvey was arrested for possessing a stolen motor vehicle, and that case was “diverted,” McCord said.

Prosecutors charged Harvey with first-degree murder, first-degree murder during the commission of a forcible felony, attempted first-degree murder, attempted vehicular hijacking by discharging a firearm, and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

McCord filed a request to have Harvey held without bail, but state law barred Judge William Fahy from granting her motion because Harvey remained hospitalized. Defendants must be in court to be held without bail in the state.

Instead, Fahy set Harvey’s bail at $1 million. Another judge will review the no-bail request after Harvey is released from the hospital, he said. 

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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