Suburbanite charged with murdering man who tried to stop him from looting West Side store
North Chicago resident Andrew Sneed, 36, faces charges of first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm for the attack that happened as unrest unfolded across the city.
A north suburban man allegedly shot three people who tried to stop him from looting a West Side liquor store as civil unrest unfolded across the city in the wake of protests against the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd.
The alleged May 31 attack left 27-year-old Tommie Gatewood dead. Now, North Chicago resident Andrew Sneed, 36, faces charges of first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm, Chicago police announced Thursday.
Gatewood and several other people in the Austin neighborhood saw Sneed about 6:30 p.m. sizing up the store in the 5100 block of West Madison, Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said at a news conference. Hundreds of other businesses across the Chicago area were smashed and plundered that day.
“Several community members confronted [Sneed], and they basically told him to leave the store alone and just kind of go away, just leave the store alone, because the community members knew what this guy was trying to do,” Deenihan said.
Sneed couldn’t figure out a way into the “buttoned up” store anyway, so he left, Deenihan said.
Soon after, a fire was set in a second-floor unit above the shop. Firefighters came, forced their way into the liquor store on the first floor to extinguish it, and then left, leaving the store vulnerable to Sneed, who was allegedly back within two hours to loot it, Deenihan said.
Sneed allegedly saw Gatewood and the others who had tried to thwart his looting earlier, and he allegedly walked across the street and shot three of them, Deenihan said.
Gatewood, a Fifth City resident, died at Stroger Hospital, authorities said. An 18-year-old woman shot three times in the leg and a 21-year-old man shot in the foot were each hospitalized in fair condition. Deenihan called them “good community members who were trying to do the right thing.”
Surveillance video and eyewitnesses led investigators to Sneed, who was arrested Wednesday morning in North Chicago by the Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force. He’s due in bond court Friday.
Sneed is not charged with the arson. Authorities are seeking tips from the public on dozens of arsons that occurred during that week of unrest.