Man murdered innocent bystander while shooting at another man in Jewel parking lot: prosecutors

David McNickles (Chicago Police Department, Google)

CHICAGO — Prosecutors say a Chicago man shot and killed an innocent bystander while firing at his intended target in a busy Jewel-Osco parking lot last month. Judge Ankur Srivastava detained the accused man, 24-year-old David McNickles, citing public safety concerns after learning about the allegations during a court hearing.

Assistant State’s Attorney Jasmine Morgan told Srivastava that video showed McNickles taking a CTA bus to the grocery store at 75th and Stony Island around 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 16. The footage also showed McNickles pulling out a firearm as he exited the bus, Morgan claimed, according to a transcript of the hearing.

While McNickles was shopping, a couple arrived and parked on the street, just outside the parking lot entrance. Morgan said that McNickles walked past their car, threw his shopping bag into the passenger window of a vehicle parked in front of them, and then turned back toward the couple.

As he did, half of the couple, a 24-year-old man, exited their vehicle to go inside Jewel, reaching into his jacket pocket for his money as he walked around the back side of the car, Morgan said. He encountered McNickles as he reached the sidewalk.

McNickles pulled out a gun, moved quickly into the parking lot, and started shooting at the 24-year-old, according to Morgan. She said he fired at least nine rounds, striking a bystander in the chest and shooting the 24-year-old multiple times in the arms and legs. The bystander died. The other man ran to a nearby gas station and collapsed.

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Morgan said the entire shooting was recorded on video. She said there are no indications that either victim had a weapon and the intended victim did, in fact, have money in his jacket pocket when the first responders arrived.

Chicago police arrested McNickles after an investigation. He admitted to the shooting but claimed he was acting in self-defense, according to Morgan.

During the detention hearing, Assistant Public Defender Vanessa Ellis said she expected McNickles to present a self-defense argument as the case proceeds. She said he is a Chicago CRED alum who still works with the anti-violence group. Ellis said his only background is a 2019 conviction for possessing a stolen motor vehicle, and he completed probation in that case.

Srivastava, the judge, pointed to the “brazen” nature of the shooting as he detained McNickles.

“It showed such a callous disregard for other people, innocent people, in the parking lot aside from the intended victim, one of whom was murdered.”

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