A person of interest in the murder of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee was ordered held on $1 million bail Wednesday on an unrelated charge of being a felon in possession of a gun.
Also Wednesday, authorities released an autopsy report showing Tyshawn was shot in the temple, most likely at close range, and his right thumb was partially amputated in what the police have called an execution.
Corey Morgan, 27, whose address was listed as in the 7800 block of South Hoyne, was arrested Monday afternoon after he left a Hilton hotel near 95th Street in Oak Lawn, authorities say.
Arrested with him was Dwright Boone-Doty, 21, of the 7300 block of South Vernon.
They were stopped in a car on 87th Street in nearby Evergreen Park.
Police allegedly recovered two handguns from the men. They both were ordered held on $1 million bail Wednesday to the sounds of gasps in the courtroom.
Court records show Morgan was convicted of illegal gun possession in 2011 and was sentenced to probation and five days of community service.
Law enforcement sources said Morgan is a person of interest in the Nov. 2 slaying of Tyshawn in the 8000 block of South Damen. Tyshawn was slain after a series of gang shootings, the first one taking the life of Morgan’s brother.
The fourth-grader was lured into an alley and executed in retaliation against the boy’s father, authorities say.
He was shot in the right temple and the bullet went through his left temple, according to a Nov. 3 autopsy report reviewed by the Sun-Times. He was also grazed in the back, right forearm and right hand.
Gunpowder residue was found on the left side of Tyshawn’s face, revealing that the shooter likely missed a shot. That bullet likely either grazed his back or struck his right thumb. There were no gunshot wounds on the left side of his face, the report said.
Seven .40-caliber bullet casings were found at the murder scene.
Tyshawn, who was just 83 pounds and 56 inches tall, wore black jeans, plaid boxers, an orange Polo shirt and a dark jacket with yellow lining on his final day of life. He had an iPhone charger and a watch on him when he died, but no phone, the report said.
Morgan is not charged in connection with the murder, which has attracted national attention.
Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy called the shooting “probably the most abhorrent, cowardly, unfathomable crime that I’ve witnessed in 35 years of policing.”
Police believe Tyshawn was killed in retaliation for the murder Oct. 13 of Tracey Morgan, 25, who is the brother of Corey Morgan, records show.
Tracey Morgan’s mother was in the car with him and was wounded in the shooting. They had just left a police-sponsored meeting to discourage gang members from violence.
Tracey Morgan and Tyshawn’s father, Pierre Stokes, were in rival gangs, police say.
Stokes has denied doing anything that resulted in his son’s death.
He told the Sun-Times on Wednesday that he “knew of” both Tracey and Corey Morgan.
“But I don’t know them,” he said.
“I got nothing to say to (Corey),” Stokes said. “I just want justice for my son.”
Stokes said he had no information for police. Last week the home of one of his friends was among three locations raided on search warrants that police said were related to the investigation of Tyshawn’s murder. Stokes said police have continued to harass him and his friends on the street.
At Morgan’s bond hearing Wednesday, Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Lorraine Scaduto revealed that Boone-Doty was seen with a gun in his waistband and Morgan was holding a duffel bag.
Morgan was then seen getting into the back of a car and Boone-Doty got into the front before the car drove away, Scaduto said.
When police stopped the vehicle, they found a .40-caliber blue steel gun with 12 live rounds in Boone-Doty’s waistband. And a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun with 14 live rounds was found in the duffel bag, authorities said.
Police are checking to see whether the guns recovered match the .40-caliber shell casings found in the alley where Tyshawn was killed.
Morgan has a previous conviction for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.
Boone-Doty is on parole for a drug and weapons case from downstate Sangamon County. He was released from prison in August.
Morgan and Boone-Doty both work in construction, their lawyers said.
Morgan has a 1-year-old child, and Boone-Doty has a 3-month-old.
An irritated Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. said the men, as convicted felons, know they shouldn’t have guns.
“I am consistent with gun cases,” the judge said before setting the high bails, prompting gasps in the courtroom.
Outside the courtroom, community activist Andrew Holmes urged Corey Morgan to speak freely to the police.
“This is his time to speak … [Tyshawn’s murder is] going to be solved. I can guarantee you that. It’s going to be solved, whether they talk or don’t talk,” Holmes said.
Morgan’s family and friends may be in fear but they have to think about the larger community and Tyshawn’s relatives, Holmes said. “Everybody’s in fear …. Think about this little boy that’s not here today. That’s what’s important — to find the perpetrators,” he said.
Holmes urged at least one other “person of interest” to turn themselves in since “this is not going anywhere until the puzzle is put together.”
Contributing: Stefano Esposito