Murder charges filed in connection with 2022 shooting that killed 2, injured 1 in downtown Chicago

Deontae Winfrey, Lavarious West, and a video frame from surveillance footage of the murder. (National Gun Violence Memorial, Chicago Police Department, HeyJackass!)

CHICAGO — A man has been charged with murdering another man in a parking lot in downtown Chicago during the summer of 2022. Lavarious West, 23, is detained at the Cook County jail after a grand jury returned a true bill indicting him on six counts of murder. West also has two Class X gun cases pending.

The Chicago crime data site HeyJackass.com obtained surveillance video of the shooting and published it within days. (We have included the video at the end of this story for those who care to watch it.) The footage shows a group gathered in the parking lot at 430 South Clark around 3:20 a.m. on August 6, 2022.

A man in the group wearing a white t-shirt pulls out a gun and shoots Deontae Winfrey from a few yards away. As the crowd scatters, a man wearing a pink hoodie standing next to the first gunman fires more shots at Winfrey.

While the man in pink is firing, he receives a gunshot wound to his back and immediately falls to the ground. The shooting continues. Bullets hit the ground, sending clouds of white debris flying from the pavement.

There is a pause, followed by more gunfire. Finally, three men run up to Winfrey, who remains badly injured on the pavement. All three open fire on him from close range. A fourth gunman, positioned deeper in the parking lot, fires at Winfrey, too.

A group of people returns to the lot to attend to Winfrey as some of the shooters haul away the fallen gunman in pink.

In addition to Winfrey, a second man was killed in the gunfire. A third was shot and survived.

In a detention petition, prosecutors said multiple Chicago police officers identified West as one of the three gunmen who walked up to Winfrey and shot him from close range.

According to court records, West was on parole for a felony gun case when the murder occurred. He also has two pending Class X armed habitual criminal cases. The allegations in the pending cases are nearly identical.

In the first, Chicago police officers said West ran from them after he was seen walking back and forth, adjusting his waistband on the corner of 71st and King Drive on the evening of June 14, 2023.

He ran, and cops chased him and caught him. They retraced his flight path and recovered a loaded 9-millimeter handgun from a front yard, according to a CPD arrest report. At the end of August, he went home for electronic monitoring.

Then, on February 19, Chicago cops allegedly saw West and another man wearing ski masks and black puffer jackets, again at the corner of 71st and King Drive. The men walked with their left arms pressed tight against their bodies, leading the officers to suspect they were concealing firearms, according to their report.

West and the other man ran when the cops approached them, the report said. Officers heard the “clang sound of metal hitting a surface” as they chased West, according to the report. They eventually found him hiding in a convenience store restroom.

The CPD report said West was wearing his electronic monitoring bracelet when they arrested him.

He has been detained at the Cook County jail since the February case was filed.

There were 38 people shot in the Loop during 2022, a number eclipsing any other year since at least 2001.

Here is the video of the shooting West is accused of participating in. Please be advised that it is disturbing to watch. Discretion is strongly advised.

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About Tim Hecke 300 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