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CHICAGO (CBS) — A 19-year-old man has been charged with the shooting and robbery of 23-year-old culinary student Dakotah Earley earlier this month, as well as four other armed robberies.
Tyshon Brownlee, of Oak Park, is charged with one count of attempted murder and five counts of armed robbery, according to Cook County prosecutors.
According to the charges, Brownlee shot Earley three times after robbing him of his cell phone on May 6 on the 1300 block of West Webster Avenue.
Brownlee also is charged with four other armed robberies on May 5 and 6 in Lincoln Park and Lakeview. In each of those robberies, he is accused of stealing a victim’s cell phone, as well as wallet and/or credit cards while armed with a handgun.
At a community safety meeting Monday night, Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd Ward) said Brownlee “has five carjacking arrests on his record in the last two years.”
Earley was walking on Wayne Avenue near Webster Avenue around 3 a.m. on May 6 when one of two robbers came out of hiding and pointed a gun at him. After giving the offender his bag, Earley reached for the gun, and both fell to the ground as they struggled over the gun. He was shot three times while robbers asked for his cellphone password.
He was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in critical condition with two gunshot wounds to the back, and one gunshot wound to the head — resulting in partial loss of his colon. His family has reported he has shown signs of improvement over the past several days.
Hopkins confirmed Earley is out of the coma, breathing on his own and can communicate with hand signals.
“He continues to fight for his life at Illinois Masonic Hospital. The reason I get emotional is I talk to his mother everyday since this incident happened,” Hopkins said. “She’s quite a woman. We pray together and I tried to do the best I could to encourage her and keep her spirits up, but one thing I can’t do is explain why this happened. And I can’t tell her the shame my neighborhood feels that this was allowed to occur on our beautiful manicured streets that we are so proud of. Its just heartbreaking. I know we can’t live this way.”
Earley’s attack was just one of eight in the Lincoln Park and Lakeview areas in less than 48 hours. Police earlier said these armed robberies at the following times and locations are also possibly linked:
• 2900 block of North Clark Street on Wednesday, May 4, at 10:45 p.m.
• 2600 block of North Bosworth Avenue on Wednesday, May 4 at 10:50 p.m.
• 1100 block of West Wellington Avenue on Wednesday, May 4 at 11 p.m.
• 3000 block of North Racine Avenue on Thursday, May 5 at 10 p.m.
• 2600 block of North Racine Avenue on Thursday, May 5 at 10:26 p.m.
• 700 block of West Aldine Avenue on Friday, May 6, at 12:30 a.m.
• 1100 block of West Fullerton Avenue on Friday, May 6, at 3 a.m. The victim of this robbery was a DePaul University student.