Chicago police officers who rolled up on a vacant lot that was being used to film a rap video in the spring of 2017 didn’t realize they would soon provide a break in one of the city’s most notorious murder cases.
After a few dozen people who had been mugging for the camera scattered, police found five handguns among the debris, and one of them had been used to kill 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee more than a year earlier, Officer Eulalio Rodriguez testified Wednesday.
The aborted video shoot on April 21, 2017, was the focus of the seventh day of testimony in the trial of Dwright Boone-Doty and Corey Morgan, who were charged with Tyshawn’s murder more than a year before the .40-caliber Smith & Wesson was linked to the crime.
In opening statements, Cook County prosecutors said the gun links Morgan to the killing: the weapon was purchased by his brother, Anthony Morgan, at the same time as a gun that was found on Corey Morgan when he was arrested a week after the boy’s November 2015 murder. Anthony Morgan is serving a federal prison sentence for gun trafficking.
Police patrolling in the area spotted lights from the video shoot and approached the lot in the 7000 block of S. Wolcott, about 10 blocks from where Tyshawn was found dead. As the officers approached, members of the crowd in the lot ran off, with officers stopping two men a few hundred feet from the scene, then releasing them before the guns were discovered, Rodriguez said.
One of Morgan’s lawyers, Todd Pugh, asked Rodriguez whether anyone in the department tried to locate the video from the rap shoot or even gathered dashboard camera footage from the multiple police vehicles at the scene once they learned the weapon was used in a high-profile murder. Rodriguez, one of the first officers at the scene, said he didn’t know.