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CHICAGO (CBS) – A Criminal Court judge Saturday denied bail to three men accused of killing four people Wednesday during a hold-up at a convenience store in the far South Side CHA Altgeld Gardens housing complex.
If convicted, the suspects could face a sentence of mandatory life without parole.
Assistant State’s Attorney Melissa Howlett told Judge James Brown that suspect Alfred Spikes, of 13119 S. Ellis Av., allegedly walked into The connect, at 507 E. 130th St., with three others brandishing an AK-47 assault rifle and opened fire before security guard Michael Banks could react. In the exchange of gunfire that ensued, Banks, a deliveryman, a customer and a would-be robber died.
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Another of the suspects and a customer in the convenience store were wounded.
Members of both the suspects and the victims’ families were in the courtroom for the five-minute hearing.
The suspects’ families refused comment when leaving the Criminal Courts building, but the brother and brother-in-law of victim Weam Salem expressed anger and frustration.
“He was too young. He didn’t deserve this,” said Aiman Salem, the victim’s brother. “He was working there just to pay the bills and keep us going.It’s hard. He doesn’t deserve this.”
Asked about the suspects, Salem said, “I just wanted to jump and kill every single one of them.”
Salem said he is hoping for a conviction on all counts.
“I hope they all pay for it,” he said. “I hope the ay all rot and die in jail.”
Salem said he once worked for another of the victims, deliveryman Ihab Arafeh, 45, of Lansing and Alex Spikes, a 17-year-old relative of suspect Alfred Spikes.
In addition to Spikes, 18-year-old Devon Walker of 50 E. 57th St., and 18-year-old Eric O’Neal, of 648 E. 133rd St., are charged with murder and armed robbery.
O’Neil’s attorney, Dabor Sicl, said his client was “merely in the wrong place at the wrong time,” sand said the surveillance video that captured the carnage will prove it.
Police and prosecutors say O’Neil also brandished a gun, but Sicl said his client never had a weapon in the store. He was wounded in the thigh, but released after treatment at Metro South Hospital, in Blue Island.
Spikes and Walker were arrested at Roseland Hospital when they attempted to take Alex Spikes to its emergency room for treatment. Alex Spikes was pronounced dead from a gunshot wound to the chest.
A woman in her 30s, a customer who was shot in the buttocks, remains hospitalized.
Spikes, Walker and O’Neil return to court Monday.