Two hours after gunning down a man on the West Side, Cook County prosecutors say the 20-year-old shooter sought to sell the murder weapon online — saying he no longer wanted it because it “had bodies on it.”
In a video stream posted to Facebook Live, 20-year-old Julius Thomas III bragged that he had put two bodies on the gun, saying “that’s what he does with his pipes,” Cook County prosecutors said at Thomas’ initial hearing on a first-degree murder charge Thursday.
In the video, Thomas was wearing the same blue sweater that a witness said the shooter wore, and the gun matched, too, prosecutors said.
The witness quickly identified Thomas as the gunman after being shown a picture of him in a photo array, prosecutors said.
Shortly after midnight Monday, 33-year-old Diviris Garfeed was standing outside in the 1000 block of North Springfield Avenue when a white, four-door Pontiac sedan stopped at the corner, prosecutors said.
Thomas spoke to Garfeed from the front passenger seat, asking if Garfeed had $20 worth of weed to sell him, according to prosecutors. Garfeed told him to pull over.
As the driver pulled onto Springfield and stopped the car, Thomas took out a “large, shiny handgun,” pointed it out the window and fired, prosecutors said. Two other men who were standing with Garfeed immediately turned and ran as more shots rang out, prosecutors said.
When the gunfire ended, one of the men who was with Garfeed earlier returned to the scene and found the 33-year-old barely breathing and bleeding from the head, authorities said. Garfeed was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital, but died hours later of gunshot wounds to his forehead and leg.
Surveillance video captured the shooting and the Pontiac Thomas was riding in, prosecutors said. When an image of the car was shown on a monitor at the Grand Central district police station, a police officer immediately recognized the car, registered to Thomas, as being the same one that was allegedly used in an earlier homicide in Elmwood Park.
Elmwood Park police could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Thomas, a documented member of the Jack Boys P Block faction of the Four Corner Hustlers street gang, was taken into custody the day after the shooting when he was seen getting into the car near his West Garfield Park home, according to police records.
Prosecutors didn’t say if the gun used in the shooting was recovered, but detectives recovered a single 9-mm shell casing lodged between the rear windshield and trunk.
That casing, prosecutors said, was a match to others found at the scene of the shooting.
Judge Charles Beach ordered Thomas held without bail and set his next court date for March 24.