Mother thanks her ‘angel on Earth’ for staying with wounded son after Lincoln Park shooting

The shooting May 6 left Dakotah Earley fighting for his life.

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Joy Dobbs, mother of shooting victim Dakotah Earley, hugs David Hussar on Monday at City Hall. Hussar is the Lincoln Park neighbor who called 911 and provided aid to Earley while awaiting paramedics May 6.

Joy Dobbs, mother of shooting victim Dakotah Earley, hugs David Hussar on Monday at City Hall. Hussar is the Lincoln Park neighbor who called 911 and provided aid to Earley while awaiting paramedics May 6.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

The “boom” of gunfire outside his Lincoln Park home jolted Dave Hussar out of his pre-dawn sleep.

Hussar looked out of his window to see a man standing, gun in hand, over another man.

Then Hussar saw the man with the gun pull the trigger.

“At the time, I thought these two people knew each other because I didn’t think anyone could just shoot someone without some sort of history there. It was just so cold,” Hussar said Monday.

Hussar went outside to help on that May 6 night — and for that, Dakotah Earley’s mother says she is eternally grateful.

Joy Dobbs met her culinary student son’s “angel on Earth” for the first time Monday at City Hall and accompanied by Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd), who is Hussar’s neighbor.

“I wanted to meet the person who took the time and the courage to not only dial 911 but to come out and be with my son so that he was not alone,” Dobbs said.

Dobbs and Hussar hugged tightly, with Dobbs whispering “thank you.”

Joy Dobbs, mother of shooting victim Dakotah Earley, speaks during a news conference at City Hall in the Loop, Monday morning, May 23, 2022. On May 6 about 3 a.m. at Webster and Wayne avenues, 23-year-old Earley was shot three times in the head and back when he was confronted by a gunman who stepped out from behind a building, pointed a gun and demanded his cellphone.

Joy Dobbs, mother of shooting victim Dakotah Earley, speaks during a news conference Monday at City Hall.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Tyshon Brownlee, 19, has been charged in the attack on Earley and in four other armed robberies on the North Side.

Earley was walking on a sidewalk near the corner of Webster and Wayne avenues on May 6, when Brownlee, who stepped out from behind a building, pointed a gun and demanded his cellphone, authorities have said.

Cook County prosecutors said Brownlee shot Earley three times — first when a 9 mm handgun Brownlee was holding went off as they struggled and Earley tried to defend himself.

Brownlee then stood over Earley and shot him again, paused and shot him a third time, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy told Judge Susana Ortiz in court last week. Murphy said Brownlee admitted to the crime in a statement recorded on video.

Surveillance video shared with the website CWB captured Earley struggling with the gunman, who took his phone and demanded the passcode.

Hussar said Monday that he was worried to leave his house — and his wife and two children — because he didn’t know if Earley was armed. He found Earley lying facedown.

“‘Hey man, I’m here to help. Hold on,’” Hussar said he told Earley. “I told him help was on the way and not to give up.”

Hussar said police arrived quickly.

“That’s a testament to [the fact] that our city does work sometimes,” he said.

Joy Dobbs, mother of shooting victim Dakotah Earley, listens as David Hussar, the Lincoln Park neighbor who called 911 and provided aid to Earley while awaiting paramedics, speaks during a news conference at City Hall in the Loop, Monday morning, May 23, 2022. On May 6 about 3 a.m. at Webster and Wayne avenues, 23-year-old Earley was shot three times in the head and back when he was confronted by a gunman who stepped out from behind a building, pointed a gun and demanded his cellphone.

Joy Dobbs, mother of shooting victim Dakotah Earley, listens as David Hussar talks during a news conference Monday at City Hall.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Earley, who turns 24 on Tuesday, remains hospitalized at Illinois Masonic Medical Center, unable to speak and possibly facing a third surgery to amputate his leg above the knee. He recently had surgery to close up his abdomen, Dobbs said. But “he is getting better,” she said.

His mother, originally from Chicago but who now lives in Georgia, is overwhelmed by the situation she finds herself in. She said she never imagined her son would become a “hashtag.”

“I suffer from PTSD. So watching my son on video get gunned down has taken me to places that I thought I was actually over,” Dobbs said.

Hussar also had a message for city leaders.

“I’m really upset. I’m sad that someone can’t walk down my street, and I take responsibility for that — as we all should,” Hussar said. “This is our city.”

“That man should have been in jail; instead, he was in front of my house, shooting someone.”

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