Man who instigated fight that led to fatal shooting on Wabash Bridge charged with murder, prosecutors say
Deandre Lewis urged two armed member of the group he was with to open fire, striking two people people in a car who had tried to help the intended target of the shooting escape, prosecutors said.
A 23-year-old man was denied bail Friday for allegedly instigating a shooting last year on the Wabash Avenue bridge in downtown Chicago that left a good Samaritan dead.
Deandre Lewis was part of a group that got into a confrontation with a 27-year-old man on July 19 in the area near Trump Tower, Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney James Murphy said.
Lewis threw a punch at the man during the confrontation, leading others in his group to do the same, Murphy said.
As the man tried to escape the group’s attack, he ran onto the bridge over the Chicago River and tried to conceal himself behind cars.
Lewis continued to point out the man and urged two armed members of his group, including 31-year-old Gregory Charles, to open fire, Murphy said.
Gregory Crawford, 35, was a passenger in a gray Honda on the bridge when he saw the intended target of the shooting and asked if he needed help, Murphy said. When the man replied that thought he was going to be shot, Crawford told him to get into the car.
Before the man could climb inside, James and a still unidentified gunman opened fire at the Honda, striking Crawford in the neck and a 25-year-old woman in the left arm, Murphy said.
The driver of the Honda sped off and later pulled over on Wacker Driver, where the woman notified Chicago police officers. Crawford was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, but died.
Lewis was arrested Thursday in Rockford, according to police.
In custody, Lewis identified himself in surveillance footage of the encounter, and was charged with first-degree murder, Murphy said. He was also found to be wanted on a warrant in Winnebago County charging him with aggravated domestic battery.
Charles was charged with Crawford’s murder in January and continues to be held without bail, according to court records.
Lewis works as the owner of his own clothing line, defense attorney Joshua Kutnick said.
“This is not a person who is out there looking to harm people,” Kutnick told Judge John F. Lyke Jr. “This very likely could be a self-defense or defense of others situation.”
Kutnick disputed that Lewis knew someone in the group he was with had a gun.
“From my understanding of the [allegations] your client is the one who initiated the violence and then allegedly said ‘shoot him,’” Lyke responded. “Two other people who had nothing to do with it got shot, and killed, one of them.”
Lyke scheduled Lewis’ next hearing for July 15.