A man was shot during a robbery in River North last month, prosecutors say (but Chicago police never told the public about it)

CHICAGO — A man was shot during a robbery in River North last month, prosecutors say, but the Chicago Police Department never told the public about it. After discovering the details in court filings, CWBChicago started digging. Here’s what we found.

Cops responded to calls of shots fired and a person shot near State and Hubbard streets around 5:35 a.m. on September 23. The officers didn’t find anyone injured, but they did find shell casings and broken glass on the ground outside a Subway restaurant at 447 North State.

As it turned out, a 29-year-old man did get shot, but he left the scene. Officers and paramedics found him after receiving a 911 call about a man with a gunshot wound to the leg in the 1500 block of West 80th Place about two hours later.

Prosecutors now say the man was shot while he and another victim were robbed outside a convenience store in the 400 block of North State.

They were standing outside the store when Eric Purdis, 31, and two men who remain at large engaged them in a conversation, prosecutors said in a court filing.

Purdis and one accomplice walked away. But Purdis stopped, adjusted his waistband, and walked back toward the victims while brandishing a firearm, according to the prosecutor’s pretrial detention motion.

Officials said that Purdis took the 29-year-old’s iPhone, watch, and jewelry and took a phone from the second victim.

Eric Purdis | Cook County sheriff’s office; Google

At that point, one of the other robbers fired a gun, striking the 29-year-old in the right thigh. Purdis also fired shots toward both victims but missed, according to the filing.

Chicago police arrested Purdis on September 30 after they responded to calls about ten people drinking, smoking, and making noise outside a hotel near State and Hubbard, according to Purdis’ arrest report.

An officer recognized Purdis as one of the robbers, and cops arrested him as he walked away from the disturbance.

Purdis was carrying a digital scale in his pocket along with a baggie of suspected crack cocaine, according to the arrest report, which claimed Purdis was a member of the Gangster Disciples street gang.

He’s charged with armed robbery with a firearm and possession of a controlled substance. Judge William Fahy granted the state’s request to detain him before trial as a safety threat.

Purdis was acquitted of armed robbery charges after a bench trial before Judge William Hooks in February 2022, according to court records.

His previous felony convictions include being a felon in possession of a firearm in 2015, possessing a stolen motor vehicle in 2013, and possessing a controlled substance in 2012, the court records show.

Four of the 23 people shot in River North this year were shot during robberies.

Five days before the robbery Purdis is charged with, a 50-year-old man was shot when he failed to comply with an armed robber on Hubbard Street, just west of State Street.

Police said the robber confronted the victim, who was walking on Hubbard Street, and demanded his valuables. Instead, the victim began fighting with the offender.

During the struggle, the victim “heard shots and felt pain and sustained a gunshot wound to the left buttock,” a CPD media statement said.

Someone drove him to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn for treatment, according to police.

On February 12, two people were shot during a robbery in a parking lot in the 300 block of West Ontario.

More than 15 shell casings were found in the area after a gunman opened fire. A 46-year-old man was struck in the shoulder, and police said a man in his 20s was shot in the abdomen.

No arrests have been announced in either of those cases.

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About Tim Hecke 261 Articles
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