A dispute over discarded water bottles ended in murder at a popular rooftop bar: prosecutors

CHICAGO — More than a year after a man was shot and killed on a popular rooftop bar in Lincoln Park, charges have been filed in the case.

Cordaryl Allen, the married father of three boys, was slain at the J. Parker atop Hotel Lincoln, 1816 North Clark, early on October 16, 2022.

At the time, Chicago police said two men were fighting inside the bar when one pulled out a gun and shot the other man in the chest.

But that’s not what further investigation revealed, officials said this week, as prosecutors charged 37-year-old Parrish Jefferson of Dolton with first-degree murder. The medical examiner determined that Allen had been shot in the back, not the chest. And officials now suspect he was mistakenly killed by Jefferson, who intended to shoot the bar’s bouncer.

On the night of the shooting, Jefferson went to the J. Parker with friends to celebrate his girlfriend’s birthday, prosecutors said in a detention petition filed with the court.

Parrish Jefferson | Chicago Police Department; CWBChicago

At one point, Jefferson “became upset that water bottles his group brought to the bar were thrown away,” the petition stated.

The lounge’s unarmed security guard offered to replace the water bottles. Jefferson was not satisfied with the offer. He began hitting the bouncer, and the confrontation moved to the outdoor patio area, where only four people were present: Jefferson, Allen, the bouncer, and a friend of Jefferson’s.

Another fight erupted on the deck between the bouncer and Jefferson’s friend. As they fought, Jefferson pulled out a gun and fired one shot, striking Allen in the back.

Officials said the two men who were fighting stopped and turned around to see Jefferson trying to assist Allen, according to prosecutors. They said Jefferson fled before police arrived, but everyone else who was with the birthday party stayed on the rooftop.

Judge Maryam Ahmad granted the state’s detention petition, saying prosecutors presented a “strong circumstantial case.” She said it was “likely” that Jefferson was trying to shoot the bouncer, who was fighting his friend.

“Someone is deceased because he could not control his temper and actions,” Ahmad wrote in her detention order.

Chicago police officers arrested Jefferson in Calumet Park over the weekend.

A good man

“You did this to my kids and they are going Krazy now that everyone left the house y’all [expletive] wrong MANNNNNN💔💔😔😔 they daddy gone and I don’t have my husband 💔💔💔💔💔💔 ughhhhhh,” Allen’s wife wrote on Facebook shortly after the shooting.

“Life without my Husband I don’t even understand it.”

“This is such a sad occasion,” wrote his sister, CeCe, in a GoFundMe campaign. “We’ve lost a brother, uncle, cousin, son and for some a best friend. But most importantly a loving husband and a good father.”

“He was always laughing, or saying something funny. We’re going to truly miss him. I know everyone he met loved him and just know he loved you all too.”

CeCe’s campaign raised $4,410 for Allen’s familyh.

“I can’t even think straight,” friend Matthew Damion Taylor wrote on Facebook, remembering Allen as a “straight family man about his wife, kids, work, and the Bears.”

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About Tim Hecke 326 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