6 years for man accused in mass shooting that injured 5 people

CHICAGO — A man who faced attempted murder charges after prosecutors accused him of being one of the gunmen who opened fire on a group of people, leaving five injured, has been handed a six-year sentence, according to court records.

Devon Harding, 24, received an additional year for illegally possessing a firearm, a charge that he was on bail for at the time of the shooting.

Shortly after noon on July 14, 2021, Harding and another gunman pulled up to the 7900 block of South Justine, got out of their car, and opened fire on a group of people who were standing on the street, officials said.

Police responding to a ShotSpotter alert and 911 calls found five victims at the scene:

  • A 40-year-old man critically wounded by a gunshot wound to his face. He reportedly spent 13 days in the hospital undergoing surgery and recovering.
  • A 27-year-old woman suffered a graze wound to her hip
  • A 33-year-old man seriously wounded by a gunshot to his back
  • A 36-year-old man shot in the ankle
  • A 49-year-old man seriously wounded by a gunshot to his right side

Prosecutors only charged Harding with shooting the first two victims, saying the other three either could not be found or refused to cooperate with police, an assistant state’s attorney said during Harding’s bail hearing.

The woman who was grazed allegedly told police she recognized Harding as one of the shooters by his hairstyle, jewelry, and underwear. According to prosecutors, she said she knew him from the neighborhood and gave him his nickname to the police, who used a law enforcement database to connect the nickname to Harding. Investigators included his picture in a photo line-up, and the woman identified him as one of the shooters, prosecutors said.

In addition to the gun case he had pending at the time of the shooting, Harding was convicted of illegally possessing a gun in 2018 and as a juvenile in 2015, officials said.

Devon Harding | Chicago Police Department

Harding recently pleaded guilty to aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in the latest gun case. That count was reduced from a more serious charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Judge Michael McHale handed him a one-year sentence, which was satisfied by the time he had already spent in custody, according to court records.

Last week, Harding resolved the shooting case by pleading guilty to one count of aggravated battery by discharging a firearm before Judge James Novy. Novy handed him a six-year term with 777 days of credit. Harding must serve at least 85% of the sentence, with the Illinois Department of Corrections estimating a parole date of August 4, 2026.

Prosecutors dropped 19 other felonies in the shooting plea deal, including 15 counts of attempted first-degree murder.

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