CHICAGO (CBS) — Two men have been charged with murder in connection with a fatal shooting on the Eisenhower Expressway last year.
State Police Director Leo Schmitz said 24-year-old Devon Almon, a documented gang member, was killed on Sept. 29, 2016, while riding in a car in the inbound lanes of Interstate 290 near Central Avenue, shortly after leaving the Maybrook Courthouse in Maywood. Police said the woman driving the car was not wounded, and drove Almon to West Suburban Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Two rival gang members – 27-year-old Terreon Johnson, Wood Dale, and 29-year-old Irell Dickens, Chicago – have been charged with first-degree murder in Almon’s death.
“The killing was in the retaliation for the murder of an associate of Johnson’s,” Schmitz said.
Police said Johnson was identified as the gunman early on in the investigation, and he was taken into custody the next day. Although police located the vehicle tied to the shooting in Johnson’s garage the day after the shooting, Johnson was released due to insufficient evidence.
Investigators later determined Johnson had conspired with a group of associates to find Almon, follow him, and kill him.
Schmitz said the Eisenhower shooting was the third attempt on Almon’s life, and it took months to piece together evidence. The first was two months earlier, in Chicago, but was never reported to police. The second was on Aug. 4, when someone followed Almon from the Maybrook Courthouse to Bolingbrook, and tried to kill him at a drive-through restaurant.
Police said Dickens was identified as one of Johnson’s co-conspirators. Johnson was arrested on May 9 at his job. Dickens was arrested the same day at the Lee County Courthouse in Dixon, Illinois, where he was in court on an unrelated traffic charge.
Both men were charged the next day, and they were being held at the Cook County Jail on $2 million bond. They were due back in court on May 30.
“If you’re going to fire a weapon, and you’re going to shoot at people on the Chicagoland expressways, I don’t care how long it takes, we’re going to go through every exhaustive measure we can to get you,” Schmitz said.
Schmitz said there have been 22 expressway shootings in the Chicago area so far this year, compared to 20 at this time last year. He said most are gang-related.
“I would feel safe if I was driving with my family on that expressway,” he said.