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Teen yelled he was a ‘killer’ during gun battle that fatally wounded Dolton mother: prosecutors

Avion Fonville, 18, was shooting at gang rivals when he allegedly fired the shot that killed 40-year-old Marshia McGill Bowman.

Marshia McGill Bowman
Marshia McGill Bowman

As he engaged in a gun battle with rival gang members last month, Avion Fonville allegedly stood outside his Dolton home and yelled he “is a killer,” prosecutors said.

The teen was right, authorities charged, after tragically, one of the shots hit a mother driving nearby with four of her kids.

Avion Fonville, 18, now faces first-degree murder charges in the killing of 40-year-old Marshia McGill Bowman. New details of the case came out during Fonville’s bond hearing Friday.

She was the first of three women to be gunned down in Dolton in less than a month. Fonville is, so far, the only person to be arrested and charged in any of the killings.

Avion Fonville | Dolton police
Avion Fonville
Dolton police

Bowman was hit by stray gunfire Aug. 21 while driving near the intersection of Sibley Boulevard and Chicago Road, according to authorities. Shot in the head, Bowman slumped over the wheel as two of her children, 8 and 9 years old, jumped out of the moving van onto Sibley, according to a proffer from the Cook County state’s attorney’s office prepared for Friday’s bond hearing.

The children, realizing that two younger children were still inside the van, chased after it, prosecutors said. The van drifted across Sibley into oncoming lanes before crashing. Bowman was rushed to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

The bullet that struck her came from a nearby gun battle in the 14900 block of Oak Street, prosecutors said.

Shortly before the shooting, surveillance video and a witness saw Fonville step out of his home upon seeing two males exit a Chrysler, prosecutors said. Fonville allegedly pulled out a brown handgun from his waistband and began to fire shots toward Sibley, prosecutors said.

The two males returned fire, shooting northbound away from Sibley. Fonville was seen running to the south side of his home and then reappearing on the north side where he continued shooting, prosecutors said. As the pair left in the Chrysler, Fonville allegedly fired one last shot southbound as he entered his front door.

Moments later, Fonville exited his house and paced in front of his home, still armed with the brown handgun, “yelling about how he is a killer” and how he hoped the pair would return, prosecutors said in the bond proffer.

Police initially responded to Bowman’s crashed vehicle on Sibley and, not seeing any shell casings, found evidence of the crime scene on Oak Street, prosecutors said. Upon learning that a gunman lived at the home on Oak, a SWAT team executed a search warrant but did not find Fonville, prosecutor said. He had left the home.

Officers found nine shell casings outside his home, according to prosecutors.

A witness sitting in his car reported that Fonville fired first, and was the only one shooting toward Sibley, where Bowman was struck, prosecutors said.

Cook County Judge Luciano Panici on Friday ordered Fonville held without bail.

Dolton Police Chief Ernest Mobley said in a Thursday news conference the killings were merely “a sign of the times.”

“We have young individuals out here, we have an influx of guns in our inner city and inner suburbs, and that’s why we need the community to come together and be our eyes and ears,” Mobley said in front of Dolton Police Department headquarters.

The chief said an arrest warrant had been issued in the fatal shooting of 31-year-old Angelneka Smith, who was struck by an errant bullet during an argument Sunday at a private club at 144th Place and South King Drive. He said the suspected killer was never romantically involved with Smith as had been previously stated.

The third attack left 16-year-old Akeira Boston dead Aug. 27 outside the Moonlight Food Deli & Liquor Store, 1203 E. 142nd St. No arrests have been made in the shooting.

“None of these are connected,” Mobley said. “They’re just isolated incidents that are happening not only in Dolton but in the Chicagoland area.”

During an emergency Village Board meeting Aug. 27, Dolton Mayor Riley Rogers blamed the violence on “overflow” from Chicago, a spike in crime in the south suburbs and gang activity.

The spate of killings has rocked the suburb and put Mobley’s police force under increased scrutiny. Rogers said he’s requested $2 million in federal grants from the Justice Department to hire 15 full-time officers in addition to the five positions Dolton is trying to fill.