LINCOLN PARK — A 23-year-old man remains in critical condition after he was ambushed, robbed and shot in the head early Friday in Lincoln Park.
Dakotah Earley is on life support and is due for another surgery, but his body is still too weak to undergo the procedure, his brother DaShawn Earley told the family website. GoFundMe page. The fundraiser raised more than $70,000 Monday afternoon to cover Dakotah Earley’s medical bills and the family’s trip to Chicago from out of state.
Dakotah Earley was also placed on dialysis, lost part of her colon and jaw to gunshot wounds, her brother said. DaShawn Earley declined to comment further on Monday.
“Dakotah is fighting as hard as it can right now,” DaShawn Earley wrote in an update to the page.
Dakotah Earley was walking in the 1300 block of West Webster Avenue around 3 a.m. Friday when he was robbed and then shot twice in the back and once in the head, Chicago police said. He was taken to Masonic Hospital in Illinois in critical condition.
No one was in custody and an investigation is ongoing, police said.
Police are investigating whether the shooting is linked to a series of at least seven other robberies that took place over the past week, according to a Chicago Police Community Alert.
DaShawn Earley said Dakotah Earley was taking a break from her studies as a culinary arts student to focus on other pursuits.
“He didn’t deserve this,” DaShawn Earley wrote on the GoFundMe page. “He’s a gentle giant and he would have given the shirt off his back to anyone in need.”
In a widely shared video from the anonymous crime blog CWB, gunmen can be seen in a light-colored car that stopped on Wayne Avenue, just past its intersection on Webster Avenue. One of the attackers got out of the car and hid behind a building waiting for Earley to pass, the video shows.
As Earley approached, the assailant pulled out a gun and came around the corner, demanding his phone, the video shows.
Earley gave the mugger his bag and the thief again asked for the phone. Earley pulled out his phone and then reached for the thief’s gun, the video shows.
Both fell to the ground and struggled as the second attacker got out of the waiting car, the video shows. The first attacker then stood up and shot Earley twice as he lay back and screamed. The second attacker returned to the car.
The first attacker took Earley’s phone from the ground and asked for his password, as seen in the video. Earley started saying his password.
The robber then approached Earley and shot him in the head, the video shows.
Neighbors went to help Earley, arriving before officers and paramedics even arrived at the scene of the shooting, Ald said. Brian Hopkins (2nd), who lives nearby.
“It’s just very upsetting,” Hopkins said last week. “I spoke to quite a few of my neighbours; many of them heard the gunshots. It is a traumatic event for everyone.
“…It’s a horrible thing that has happened anywhere in your city, but when it happens outside your door in the middle of the night, it’s something that can really scare you on a different level. .”
Hopkins said the attackers appeared to have been involved in at least one other robbery, saying a DePaul student was robbed early Friday near Fullerton and Clifton avenues, and the attackers and their car matched the description of those used in the shootout.
That robbery took place around 3 a.m. in the 1100 block of West Fullerton Avenue, police said. An 18-year-old man was walking when someone with a gun got out of a white car and demanded his belongings.
The man gave his belongings to the thief, and the thief got into the car and took off, police said. No one was injured and an investigation is ongoing.
Hopkins said the shooting highlights the need for police to make adjustments to how they patrol neighborhoods, especially when there are robberies.
“One thing that I think is something we can improve on is when there’s a flying frenzy that develops, to identify the pattern as it unfolds,” Hopkins said. “Rather than waiting until the next day and piecing the puzzle together and finding that the same team of offenders are committing multiple armed robberies in the same geographic area. We need to do a better job of identifying this in real time using available technology, then attempt to intervene.
“…Knowing that this is happening, we need to find a better way to intervene and attempt to make arrests while the robbery spree is still ongoing.”
Neighbors said they had seen armed robberies and carjackings on the rise in the Lincoln Park area and that having one so close to their home was “chilling”.
“My parents left Chicago 35 years ago because of gun violence near their home,” said a neighbor, who lives a block from the shooting on Wayne. “I was born here, I grew up away from Chicago, but I came back. Now my fiancé and I wonder how much that has really changed in those 35 years.
Another neighbor said she woke up to the sound of gunfire early Friday.
“It was terrifying,” she said. “We really don’t get a lot of gunshots here, so I had to stop and wonder if it was really gunshots I heard.”
The neighbor said she was too tired and afraid to go out to see what had happened, and she was worried to read the next day that the shooter might have been involved in another robbery.
“Knowing that people are walking around on crime sprees, especially right next to your house, is concerning,” she said. “You take safety for granted and then something like this happens and makes you wonder if this ever happened to you.”