Parolee Charged in Christmas Day Nightclub Shooting

Taiwan Smith had been kicked out of nightclub before shooting, police say

By Al Romero
|  Tuesday, Dec 27, 2011  |  Updated 4:23 PM CDT
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Chicago Police Dept.

Taiwan Smith

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A West Side man has been charged in connection with a shooting outside a Chicago nightclub that left a bouncer and a man celebrating his 30th birthday dead on Christmas Day.

Taiwan Smith, 26, of the 3200 block of West Arthington Street, was charged with two counts of murder, aggravated battery and unlawful use of a weapon, police said.

Bouncer Robert Warren, 34, and factory worker Jose Duckins, 30, were both killed in the gunfire, officials said. A third man was wounded.

The suspect had been thrown out of the club earlier that night, but returned and "just started shooting," according to police and Warren’s niece April Bullock.

Her uncle, of the 7300 block of North Damen Avenue, “was just doing his job and he was killed for no reason,” Bullock added. “He had kids -- we’re all in shock.”

Duckins, of the 3600 block of West Franklin, had gone to the club with four or five friends to celebrate his birthday, his distraught little sister Voshunda Duckins said Sunday. He was shot at close range in the chest, relatives said. Both he and Warren -- who was also shot in the chest -- were declared dead at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County.

A 21-year-old friend of Duckins survived the shooting with a bullet wound to his arm. He was treated and released at Rush University Medical Center, police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli said.

Duckins had bought his 4-year-old son Jose Jr. a remote control car, clothes and Transformers toys for Christmas, his sister said as relatives mourned Sunday at the family home.

“He was a loving family man,” she said. “He was expecting another child and he didn’t deserve this.”

Smith had been convicted on several drug and weapons-related convictions dating back to 2003, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections. He was paroled in June after serving nearly three years of a six-year sentence for his most recent conviction, for narcotics possession.

Smith is scheduled to appear in bond court on Wednesday.

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