A Far South Side man had driven his friend to an agreed meet-up spot to buy a gun last month when he was fatally shot in the West Pullman neighborhood, according to Cook County prosecutors.
Cook County Judge Stephanie K. Miller on Saturday denied bail for one of the accused killers, 19-year-old Justin Thomas, charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 21-year-old Darius Moorman of the Jeffrey Manor neighborhood, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
The fatal shooting a month earlier was preceded by a gun sale-gone-bad, Assistant State’s Attorney Christina Kye said at Thomas’s initial hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building. Moorman’s friend had set up the sale through Facebook Messenger, agreeing to meet the afternoon of March 16 in the 12300 block of South Lowe Avenue.
Moorman drove to the meet-up spot, where the seller got into the backseat of the car, Kye said. Moorman’s friend handed over $500, and the seller got out and went to a nearby parked car.
He came back moments later with Thomas, and both men got into the backseat and pointed guns at Moorman and his friend, warning them not to move, Kye said. When both men in the front of the car moved, a gunshot went off, striking Moorman in the shoulder. The seller got out and ran while the other three men stayed in the car.
Moorman drove for a block before he crashed, Kye said. Thomas, still in the back seat, took another $20 from Moorman’s friend before he ran away.
Paramedics took Moorman to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead at 5:26 p.m., the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said.
Officers arrested Thomas, of south suburban Flossmoor, on Wednesday in Chicago Heights, more than a month after the shooting. Kye said it wasn’t clear whether Thomas or the seller, who’s still at large, had fired the shot that killed Moorman.
Thomas admitted to having a “prop gun” when he met up with the seller, who he knows, to help with “an argument over a gun,” Kye said. He also told officers he was in the car when Moorman was shot, and that he checked on Moorman before running away.
Thomas, who was accompanied in court by five family members and friends, is on parole for a 2017 felony conviction of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.
He is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.