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2nd teen charged in murder of retired firefighter near South Side popcorn shop

Dwain Williams, 65, was killed in the early December attack.

Dwain Williams
Dwain Williams
Chicago Fire Department

A man accused of driving around a group of carjackers who allegedly killed a retired Chicago firefighter earlier this month during an attempted robbery outside a Morgan Park popcorn shop was denied bail Friday.

Dwain Johnson, 18, faces charges of first-degree murder and attempted vehicular hijacking in the killing of 65-year-old Dwain Williams, who was shot during an exchange of gunfire with the “carjacking crew” on Dec. 3, according to Chicago police.

The charges against Johnson come a day after a 15-year-old boy was charged with murder in connection with the attack, although prosecutors said the boy wasn’t armed at the time.

Dwain Johnson, 18
Dwain Johnson, 18
Chicago police

In court Friday, prosecutors said Johnson was the driver of a stolen Ford Fusion sedan that followed Williams after the crew spotted the retired firefighter’ Jeep Grand Cherokee as he drove to Let’s Get Poppin’ at 11758 S. Western Ave.

In surveillance video of the shooting, two people with guns are seen approaching Williams as he walks toward his Jeep with a bag in his hand after leaving the shop, authorities said.

Williams, who had a permit to carry a concealed weapon and was also armed, exchanged shots with the group and was shot in the abdomen.

He later died at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

Neither of the two armed suspects who confronted Williams have been taken into custody, according to police.

Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said Johnson, the 15-year-old — who is not being named because he is charged as a juvenile — and the other two suspects were part of a group responsible for a number of other crimes in the area.

Chicago police show surveillance video of the murder of retired Chicago Firefighter Dwain Williams in the Morgan Park neighborhood.
Chicago police show surveillance video of the murder of retired Chicago Firefighter Dwain Williams in the Morgan Park neighborhood.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Johnson, of Gary, Indiana, was arrested Wednesday afternoon by the FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force in suburban Oak Forest, police said.

He also goes by the name Dwain Cunigan, prosecutors said, and additionally faces charges of unlawful possession of an automatic weapon and unlawful possession of a weapon.

Judge Charles Beach granted prosecutors request Friday to hold him without bail and set his next court date for Jan. 8.

Williams was a Chicago Fire Department lieutenant who retired about two years ago, officials said. He was about to return to work as a civilian employee at the Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

A group of activists have put up a combined reward of $34,000 for information leading to any arrests in his killing.

It wasn’t immediately clear if someone claimed the reward.

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