‘By the grace of God’ alleged teen carjacker not facing murder charges in Palmer Square shooting, judge says

The first shot fired by 17-year-old Travon Duffie struck the man in his left hand, but the second, aimed at the man’s abdomen, hit an iPhone in his pocket instead and stopped the bullet, Cook County prosecutors said in court.

SHARE ‘By the grace of God’ alleged teen carjacker not facing murder charges in Palmer Square shooting, judge says
A man is facing murder charges in a fatal shooting from Feb 3, 2022.

Sun-Times file photo

A Cook County judge Thursday told an alleged carjacker accused of shooting a man that it was “by the grace of God” he wasn’t facing murder charges for his actions in the parking lot of a Palmer Square gas station.

The first shot fired by 17-year-old Travon Duffie Wednesday left a graze wound to the victim’s left hand. But the second shot, aimed at the man’s abdomen, hit an iPhone in his pocket instead, prosecutors said.

“By the grace of God, this defendant is only facing an aggravated battery charge, instead of a murder charge,” Judge Arthur Wesley Willis said before ordering Duffie held without bail for aggravated battery with a firearm.

Surveillance video captured the attack, which came roughly 12 hours after Duffie carjacked another man at gunpoint at a different gas station in the city, prosecutors said.

In the earlier incident, Duffie approached that victim with a gun and then drove off with the man’s orange Toyota Scion, prosecutors said.

Duffie was allegedly still in possession of the Scion around 6:15 p.m. when he went to the other gas station, at 2338 N. Sacramento Ave. He ended up going into the business’ convenience store and spotted his next victim who was leaving with a coffee he had just purchased, prosecutors said.

Duffie “immediately turned around” and followed the 57-year-old, surveillance video from the gas station allegedly shows.

When the man opened his car, Duffie held out a gun and demanded the man give him his keys, prosecutors said.

Then two shots followed. Afterward, Duffie ran back to the Scion and sped away, prosecutors said.

About 10 minutes later, Duffie allegedly rear-ended a car at California and Potomac avenues before fleeing on foot. However, he then returned to the stolen car, retrieved something and adjusted his waistband before fleeing again, prosecutors said witnesses observed.

Duffie was taken into custody several blocks away. A gun was recovered from his waistband, prosecutors said.

Duffie is charged as adult for shooting the man but will most likely face additional charges as a juvenile, prosecutors said.

He is expected back in court March 15.

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