Man charged in Evanston beach shooting that left 1 dead, 2 injured

CHICAGO — Prosecutors on Saturday charged a 20-year-old man in connection with a triple shooting that left an 18-year-old man dead and two boys injured at Clark Street Beach in Evanston earlier this month.

Jalen Murray was ordered held in lieu of a $75,000 bail deposit by Judge Charles Beach during a bond hearing Saturday afternoon at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago.

Murray and two other men walked to the beach shortly before 8 p.m. on April 12, Assistant State’s Attorney Thomas Darman told the judge. When they arrived, the group encountered Jacquis Irby and Irby’s two brothers, all of whom grew up with Murray in the neighborhood, Darman said.

At some point, one of Irby’s brothers began arguing with Murray, Darman said. The altercation escalated to pushing and shoving as other people became involved, said Darman. A park ranger intervened and tried to calm the crowd.

The entrance to Clark Street Beach in Evanston. | Google

Murray, who had separated from the crowd, walked up to the group, pulled out a gun, and shot several times toward Jaquis Irby at close range, Darman alleged. Irby fell, got up, ran a short distance, and fell again.

Murray

Darman said one of Murray’s friends ran after Irby and fired several shots in his direction.

Irby’s brothers ran in the opposite direction, and one of them was shot several times as he fled the gunfire.

Jaquis Irby died. His 15-year-old brother and another 15-year-old boy were injured.

Investigators found an ammunition magazine at the beach that was a different caliber than the shots allegedly fired by Murray and his friend, Darman said. According to Darman, no video shows any of the victims holding firearms, but police suspect that one of the victims may have dropped the magazine.

Murray turned himself in to the police on Thursday. Prosecutors charged him with first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder. Darman said Murray’s friend, who also fired shots, was arrested but has been released pending further investigation.

Mike Gillespie, Murray’s private defense attorney, argued against the state’s motion to hold Murray without bail. While Murray had been identified as someone at the beach, Gillespie said, the state never presented evidence that he had been identified as a shooter.

Murray has “no background whatsoever,” Gillespie said.

Beach agreed that the state fell short of meeting its burden to justify holding Murray without bail.

The police response to the shooting drew criticism from some on the Northwestern University campus, which is located near the beach.

“Evanston officials never employed their emergency alert system, and the University took more than 30 minutes to issue its shelter-in-place order, which lasted for slightly more than an hour,” the Daily Northwestern reported on April 14.