By Mike Puccinelli


CHICAGO (CBS)– A 20-year-old South Shore man faces possible life in prison if he is convicted of murdering two men in Chinatown over the weekend.

Alvin Thomas, 20, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder. A judge denied bond for Thomas Tuesday afternoon.

As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reported, the loved ones of the two men who were killed said Thomas should never have been out on the streets in the first place.

That is because 18 months ago, police said Thomas robbed two men near Belmont Avenue and Halsted Street on the North Side of the city – but he was out on parole.

And this time, prosecutors said Thomas brought a 9mm handgun when he committed another robbery in Chinatown early Sunday morning.

More than 90 people from the Chinatown area showed up in court today to show their support for two Young men who were gunned down over the weekend.

“For this to happen is wrong,” said Terry Wilson, a spokesman for the families. “This didn’t have to happen.”

But it did, when police said Thomas attempted to pull off an armed robbery. Police said he tried to rob 36-year-old Huayi Bian and 38-year-old Weizhong Xiong, along with Xiong’s 44-year-old wife, in a Chinatown parking lot around 2:15 a.m. Sunday.

Detectives believe the two men were sitting in a car when they refused Thomas’ demands, so the 20-year-old shot them near Tan Court and Wells and then took off running as seen in surveillance.

He didn’t get far.

“Chicago Police officers followed the bloody footprints left by this defendant,” said Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy.

The star witness in the prosecution will be Xiong’s wife.

“She’s so upset she could not come with us today,” Wilson said.

And that’s understandable. Prosecutors said after her husband was shot, she slid underneath her parked car. From there, she saw the body of her husband and saw that he wasn’t moving.

Prosecutors said she heard Thomas and Bian struggling and then heard a shot and saw his body hit the ground. The evidence was tough to hear for loved ones of the two men.

But it was also difficult to hear for the mother of the accused killer.

My heart is Hurting. I can’t think. I can’t eat. I’m hurting,” said Thomas’ mother, Sherrie Kellum. “I want my baby to come home,”

And the loved ones are the victims were also thinking about home outside of court.

“These guys haven’t been back to China in eight years, nine years to see their family, and now they can never go see their family,” Wilson said.

Police were in the area and actually heard the four shots that claimed the lives of the two Chinatown residents.

They said when officers arrested Thomas, he had the handgun in his pocket and his shoes were still covered in blood.

Mike Puccinelli