Two men involved in an armored car robbery that left a security guard dead and another wounded on the South Side also robbed a cellphone store before they turned their guns on their accomplices, Cook County prosecutors said Thursday.
Judge Charles Beach called Monday’s crime spree a “brazen operation” and noted that 19-year-old Antwon Montgomery and Deandre Jennings, 21, could be sentenced to life if they are convicted given that they are accused of killing more than two people, including their cohorts in what amounted to an “execution.”
The GardaWorld employees were loading an ATM with cash at a Bank of America branch in the 200 block of West 83rd Street around 10:20 a.m. Monday when a stolen Lincoln sedan with four people, including Montgomery and Jennings, pulled up, prosecutors said.
It was Montgomery and Jennings who allegedly got out of the vehicle first with weapons and demanded money.
Montgomery grabbed for a case a 46-year-old guard was holding that contained between $50,000 and $80,000, prosecutors said. As Montgomery and the guard struggled over the case, a third person emerged from the Lincoln armed with a riffle, prosecutors said. Then, Montgomery, Jennings and the third person allegedly began shooting at the guards.
One of the guards, LaShonda Hearts, 47, was shot six times and later died at the University of Chicago Medical Center, police said. The 46-year-old guard was struck twice and taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition. A third guard was inside the armored truck during the robbery and was not hurt, prosecutors said.
While all three robbers’ faces were covered, their weapons and clothing were captured on the “grainy” bank surveillance video, prosecutors said.
The robbers were not able to take the cash and sped away after returning to the Lincoln, prosecutors said.
Shortly after, a witness saw an armed Montgomery and Jennings get out of a dark-colored sedan and into a parked Buick SUV, prosecutors said. The witness wrote down the Buick’s license plate number before it drove away.
Then, just before 11 a.m. at a strip mall in the 6700 block of South Stony Island Avenue, Montgomery got out of the Lincoln and allegedly robbed a Boost Mobile store, taking cash form a register and multiple cellphones, prosecutors said. He left when he wasn’t able to access the store’s safe, prosecutors said.
Roughly an hour after the armored truck robbery, police received a report of a traffic crash and gunfire in the 8700 block of South Saginaw Avenue, prosecutors said.
When they got to the scene, officers found the body of 21-year-old Naiqwon Harper, of Englewood, in the driver’s seat of the Buick. George Holmes, 27, was also discovered shot in the front passenger seat. Holmes was later pronounced dead at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Harper and Holmes were involved in Monday’s armored truck robbery, authorities said, and are believed to have stolen the Lincoln sedan at gunpoint earlier in the day. The Buick was registered to Harper’s girlfriend, prosecutors said.
Witnesses saw Montgomery and Jennings running from the Buick and into a building on the block after the crash, prosecutors said.
A SWAT team responded and took Jennings and Montgomery into custody, police said.
Several handguns and a rifle were found inside the building, as well as cash and clothing that matched what Montgomery and Jennings were wearing during the robberies, prosecutors said.
Shell casings at the scene of the armored truck robbery matched weapons found inside the building, prosecutors said.
Several Boost Mobile phones were also recovered from the Buick, prosectors said.
Montgomery and Jennings, who were ordered held without bail Thursday, have been charged with several counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder and robbery.
Montgomery was released on parole earlier this year on a weapons charge, Illinois Department of Corrections records show. Jennings also has previous convictions for weapons offenses, prosecutors said.
Jennings, a father of two, is currently unemployed and lives with his mother, an assistant public defender said.
Montgomery lives with his girlfriend and works in the hospitality industry.
Jennings and Montgomery are expected back in court Dec. 6.