A man was convicted last week for first-degree murder in a 2014 shooting of a Rogers Park photographer who was caught in the crossfire of a gang altercation.
Eric Vaughn, 36, was found guilty by a Cook County jury of first-degree murder in the shooting of Wil Lewis, who was 28. Vaughn was convicted of a second count of attempted first-degree murder of the intended victim, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.
A State’s Attorney spokesperson didn’t provide further details.
Vaughn was reportedly driving a car with two teenagers when he saw a rival gang member. He ordered the teenagers to “wet that T-shirt up” — meaning make the rival gang member bleed — and handed them a gun, prosecutors told the Chicago Sun-Times.
The teens shot at the 19-year-old intended target but missed, hitting Lewis in the back. He died in the hospital less than an hour later, according to the Sun-Times.
The shooting took place near a bus stop on the 1300 block of West Devon Avenue, adjacent to Ellipsis Coffeehouse just blocks from Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus. The location is a half-mile from Lewis’ home, where he had recently moved with his wife, according to a community announcement from 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore.
According to the Sun-Times, Moore witnessed the attack.
In the announcement, Moore called on the community to share information about the fatal September shooting of 25-year-old Northwestern University graduate student Shane Colombo, saying community involvement helped police in the apprehension of Lewis’ offenders. Due to witnesses identifying Vaughn, he was arrested on foot shortly after the shooting, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“Without their willingness to provide authorities with information, including descriptions of the assailants and their vehicle, the police could not have made the arrests and prosecutors would not have been able to bring the perpetrators to justice,” Moore wrote.
Mike Hogan, who Moore said in the announcement prosecuted the case, didn’t return The Phoenix’s request for comment at the time of publication. Moore also didn’t respond to request for comment at the time of publication. Vaughn and his attorney couldn’t be reached for comment at the time of publication.