Security Guard Accused of Killing Co-Worker Outside Downtown Chicago Club

(WTTW News)(WTTW News)

A security guard working at a downtown club is accused of fatally shooting a coworker following an argument and physical altercation between the men over the weekend.

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Devontrell Turnipseed, 23, was ordered held without bail Tuesday following his arrest on a single count of first-degree murder after the early Sunday morning shooting of a 38-year-old colleague.

According to Assistant State’s Attorney Erin Cooper, both Turnipseed and the victim — who was not identified by name during Tuesday’s hearing — were working security at the Persona Lounge in the 400 block of South Wells Street.

Turnipseed was working at the entrance of the business, patting down guests as they went inside, Cooper said, while the victim was working inside.

At some point, the victim confronted Turnipseed, complaining that he’d been letting guests in too quickly and needed to do a more thorough job patting them down, according to Cooper.

The two men continued arguing outside the business and “squared up face to face,” Cooper said. Turnipseed then allegedly pulled out a handgun from a holster on his waistband, and as he tried to hand it off to another security guard, the victim punched Turnipseed in the face.

As Turnipseed fell to the ground, he allegedly fired three shots, striking the victim — who was unarmed — twice in the left side of his chest.Turnipseed remained on scene and called 911, according to Cooper, as did other employees who witnessed the shooting.

The victim was taken to Northwestern Hospital, where he was pronounced dead just before 2 a.m.

The entire incident was recorded on surveillance video, Cooper said, and multiple witnesses identified Turnipseed as the shooter. Following his arrest, he allegedly told investigators he’d shot the victim in retaliation after being punched in the face.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Turnipseed’s attorney David Drwencke said there are “some serious questions” over his client’s intent, arguing he may have acted in self-defense.

“I don’t believe the proof is evident that a murder has occurred, but instead somebody was defending themselves,” Drwencke said.

Turnipseed is due back in court for a hearing Oct. 31.

Contact Matt Masterson: @ByMattMasterson[email protected] | (773) 509-5431

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