High school student murdered classmate while on pretrial release for carjacking, gun cases: prosecutors

The murder occurred at this Amoco station in Englewood. (Google)

CHICAGO — A Chicago high school student on pretrial release for several juvenile cases, including aggravated carjacking and gun possession, shot and killed a classmate at an Englewood gas station, prosecutors say.

Keion Thomas, 17, was detained as a public safety threat by Judge Susana Ortiz on Friday. He is the 33rd person charged with murder, attempted murder, or trying to shoot someone last year while on felony pretrial release.

Thomas and the victim, Kayvone Gardner, also 17, had a fight last fall, prosecutors said. They crossed paths again at the Amoco station, 1224 West 59th Street, around 3:30 p.m. on October 25. Officials said the surveillance video showed them together at the station and Thomas hiking up his shirt.

Moments after they moved off-camera, Thomas shot Gardner four times, including once in the head, prosecutors alleged. Thomas fled. Gardner managed to run into the gas station but later died. Witnesses allegedly identified Thomas from the video footage.

Prosecutors also pointed to an Instagram post in which Thomas tried to sell a firearm. He had another gun in his waistband when Chicago cops arrested him to face murder charges this week, according to his CPD arrest report.

He is charged with first-degree murder.

The “not horrible” series

This report continues our coverage of individuals accused of killing, shooting, or trying to kill or shoot others awaiting trial for a felony allegation. CWBChicago began our series of reports in November 2019 after Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans publicly stated, “We haven’t had any horrible incidents occur” under the court’s bond reform initiative.

The actual number of murders and shootings committed by people awaiting trial for felony allegations is undoubtedly much higher than the numbers seen here. Since 2017, CPD has brought charges in less than 5% of non-fatal shootings and 33% of murders, according to the city’s data.

Previous reporting

2024 “not horrible” cases

2023 “not horrible” cases

2022 “not horrible” cases

2021 “not horrible” cases

2020 “not horrible” cases

2019 “not horrible” cases

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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