Man charged in deadly Rogers Park shootingMatthew Hendricksonon June 3, 2021 at 6:43 pm

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Desmen Williams, 29, was charged with first-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon for the shooting that claimed the life of Jemel Murphy.

A 29-year-old man has been charged with murder in a deadly drive-by shooting that allegedly stemmed from a fight at a nearby Rogers Park restaurant.

Jemel Murphy, was standing with a friend outside the restaurant near Howard and Paulina streets on May 6 when Desmen Williams pulled up in a 2013 Jeep around 3:15 p.m., Cook County prosecutors said.

Williams and Murphy’s friend were captured on surveillance cameras arguing, prosecutors said Friday. At one point, Williams allegedly got punched in the face. That prompted Williams to go back to his car to retrieve a crowbar. But the fight had broken up, prosecutors said.

However, as Williams got back in his car to leave, he allegedly threatened his rivals, saying that “he would be back.”

A half hour later, Murphy and his friend were standing in the 1300 block of West Jonquil Terrace when surveillance cameras captured shots being fired from Williams’ Jeep as it drove by, prosecutors said.

Murphy, 22, was struck in the arm by a bullet that entered his chest. He later died at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, authorities said.

Desmen Williams
Chicago police
Desmen Williams

Murphy’s friend identified Williams as the gunman and another witness identified Williams as one of the men involved in the fight at the restaurant, prosecutors said.

A Chicago police surveillance camera captured the license plate of Williams’ Jeep, which was registered to Williams and his mother, prosecutors said. Cellphone records also showed Williams’ phone was in the area at the time of the fight and at the time of the shooting, prosecutors said.

Officers who arrested Williams in West Rogers Park Monday found a bag that contained marijuana, blocks of Psilocybin — a hallucinogenic component of psychedelic mushrooms — and a Glock handgun inside Williams’ car, prosecutors said.

Williams, who has a FOID card but not a permit to carry a concealed weapon, was also charged with unlawful use of a weapon, prosecutors said. Test results are pending on whether that weapon used in the drive-by shooting.

“We don’t know who was driving [the Jeep],” and assistant public defender told Judge Charles Beach, noting that Williams was not seen inside the Jeep on the surveillance footage.

Williams, who works for a carpentry and landscaping business, is married and a “very involved” father of four children, the defense attorney added.

Beach ordered Williams held without bail.

He is expected back in court June 22.

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