A liquor store security guard is facing a murder charge after he allegedly fired 20 rounds at a fleeing man who had shot him, inadvertently striking and killing a 55-year-old grandmother who’d been walking nearby.
Victor Brown, 25, has been charged with first-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon following the fatal Tuesday afternoon shooting of Bobbye Johnson on the South Side.
“Ms. Johnson was simply walking down the street one minute, and an innocent victim caught in senseless crossfire the next moment,” Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said Friday.
According to Cook County prosecutors, Brown was working security at Wood’s Food & Liquor in the 200 block of East 35th Street when he was approached by a man who was not permitted to enter the store.
Surveillance footage of the confrontation showed that as Brown walked toward the man and put his fists in his face, the man fired a shot from a handgun concealed in his pocket, striking Brown in the leg, prosecutors said.
Brown fell to the ground and allegedly began firing his own handgun at the man, who was running from the scene. But Brown’s gun only contained blanks, prosecutors said, so he took a loaded gun from another security guard and began firing live rounds at the man, who by this point was a block away.
He allegedly fired 20 rounds at the man as he fled, even continuing to fire as the man crossed a busy street. Johnson was on her way to a bank and was about four blocks away on the opposite side of the street from Brown when this was happening. She was struck once in the chest by one of the bullets and pronounced dead at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
“The fact is, Ms. Johnson should still be here,” David Brown said. The police superintendent added that Brown’s actions were “so reckless” that he believed it warranted a first-degree murder charge.
Police are still seeking the man who shot Brown.
Prosecutors said 23 seconds passed between when Brown was shot and when he began firing live rounds and a female witness nearby was screaming at him to stop shooting.
Brown’s bond was set at $1 million during a hearing Friday.