A 19-year-old man “basically terrorized” the Lakeview and Lincoln Park neighborhoods with a five-hour robbery spree culminating in the shooting of 23-year-old Dakotah Earley, reportedly a former culinary arts student who had worked at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, authorities said.
Tyshon Brownlee appeared in court Tuesday on charges of attempted murder and armed robbery. Judge Susana Ortiz granted prosecutors’ request to hold him without bail as the case pends.
From about 10 p.m. May 5 to just after 3 a.m. May 6, Brownlee robbed five people of their personal property such as cellphones and wallets, prosecutors alleged. Some of those victims reported that he pointed a handgun with an extended magazine at them.
And the final robbery Brownlee is charged with ended with Earley severely injured on the sidewalk in the 1300 block of West Webster Avenue. About 3:05 a.m. May 6, Brownlee hid around a corner waiting for Earley, who was walking down the street, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.
Brownlee pointed a gun at Earley, who handed over a plastic bag he was carrying, Murphy said. But Earley lunged forward in self-defense, and the two began to struggle and fell to the ground, where they fought over the handgun, Murphy said. At one point in the struggle the handgun went off, Murphy said.
Brownlee got control of the gun, pointed it at Earley and shot, Murphy said — then paused and shot again before fleeing with another as-yet unidentified person.
Earley was shot twice in the back and once in the head, Murphy said. Two neighbors saw the shooting from a window, called 911, and provided security video of the incident, according to prosecutors.
On Monday, though he is still hospitalized and his jaw is wired shut, Earley circled Brownlee’s picture in a photo array, identifying him as the person who shot him, Murphy said.
“When asked if the defendant had punched, stabbed or shot him, (Earley) made a gun with his fingers and nodded his head,” Murphy said.
Brownlee was arrested and made videotaped statements about the shooting and the robberies, Murphy said.
“This defendant committed this crime spree and basically terrorized this neighborhood with armed robbery after armed robbery after armed robbery,” Murphy said.
Brownlee’s court-appointed attorney said he is a high school graduate who was recently hired to work at a grocery store, and noted that there is nothing indicating any acts of violence in his history.