Bail was denied Friday for a man accused of murdering a romantic rival in an exchange of gunfire Tuesday afternoon at his ex-girlfriend’s south suburban home.
Dangelo Curtis, 34, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Cook County prosecutors said Timothy McClendon, 22, upset about his ex’s new relationship, showed up — unannounced, with a handgun — at her home in the 1100 block of Seeley Road in Ford Heights.
McClendon forced his way into the home about 12:30 p.m. As his ex-girlfriend pleaded with him to stop, McClendon then tried to get into the bedroom where Curtis had retreated, prosecutors said Friday.
Curtis, armed with a .38-caliber handgun, tried to brace the door with his body. Once McClendon pushed his way in, prosecutors said, the two men stood face to face — and both opened fire.
Curtis was struck in the head and killed, prosecutors said. McClendon was struck in his thigh and hip. His ex-girlfriend was shot in her thigh; it was unclear which shooter wounded her.
After the shooting, prosecutors said, McClendon paused to tell his ex he was sorry, kissed her on the head, then walked out of the home, leaving his ex to crawl to a phone and call 911. She was taken to a hospital for emergency surgery.
McClendon drove off in a car he had borrowed from a friend. He picked up a cousin, who took him to be treated at a hospital, where he was taken into custody, prosecutors said. The .22-caliber handgun was found in the car’s glovebox.
At the hospital, McClendon claimed he had fired in self-defense, according to prosecutors. But an investigation found multiple Facebook message between the two men in the month before the shooting that showed McClendon was upset about Curtis’ relationship with his ex and wanted her back, prosecutors said.
Evidence technicians said marks left by the bullets suggested Curtis shot at an upward angle, as if he fired from the floor.
At the time of the shooting, his ex-girlfriend had an order of protection against McClendon that barred him from contact with her, according to court records.
However, prosecutors said, the two had been in contact as recently as the day before, when McClendon’s ex had dropped off their young child for him to watch overnight. Hours before the shooting, McClendon had dropped off the child with his ex’s mother, and Curtis and McClendon’s ex had later picked up the baby.
McClendon’s ex told investigators she didn’t see who fired first, because she had turned her head to check on the whereabout of their baby. She only heard the gunshots and saw muzzle flashes.
In court Friday, Judge Mary Marubio ordered McClendon, of Chicago Heights, held without bail on charges of first-degree murder and home invasion.
After the hearing, McClendon’s mother, Carolyn McAurin, said she believed her son had fired in self-defense and may have brought the gun with him because Curtis had previously threatened and struck him with a gun during an earlier confrontation.
McAurin said her son could be “hotheaded,” but was a good father to his child.
McClendon’s next scheduled court appearance is Tuesday at the Markham Courthouse.