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Man charged with murder in South Shore attack outside party

Darnell Lemons was ordered held without bail Thursday for the Sept. 29 murder of Damajia Bell.

Man charged in stabbing June 25, 2021
Darnell Lemons was denied bail during a court appearance Thursday on a charge of first-degree murder in the shooting of 26-year-old Damajia Bell on Sept. 29 in South Shore.
Adobe stock photo

A Gresham man was charged with murder after he allegedly identified himself as the individual captured on surveillance video standing over the victim and firing into his body in the South Shore neighborhood.

Shortly before the Sept. 29 shooting, cameras also recorded Darnell Lemons stepping outside of a party to make a phone call before he was approached by two others in the 1600 block of East 68th Street, Cook County prosecutors said Thursday.

Those two unidentified individuals — who also allegedly fired at Damajia Bell — pulled the hoods of their sweatshirts over their heads and put on masks before concealing themselves in a nearby alleyway.

Darnell Lemons
Darnell Lemons
Chicago police

Lemons, meanwhile, went back into the apartment building where the party was taking place. But soon he emerged outside again, waiting for 26-year-old Bell, prosecutors said.

When Bell came out, Lemons followed him before the other suspects ran toward Bell and started shooting, prosecutors said.

Bell tried to escape but fell to the ground.

Lemons, 29, then stood over Bell and allegedly fired several more times into his body before running away.

Bell, who was shot 12 times, was pronounced dead at the University of Chicago Medical Center shortly after, prosecutors and Chicago police said.

Lemons was arrested Monday. During his interview with detectives, Lemons allegedly admitted to standing over Bell, but said he was firing at someone else down the street.

However, video recordings and bullet marks left on the sidewalk contradicted Lemon’s account, prosecutors said.

Lemons eventually admitted he was the one on camera standing over Bell and shooting him, prosecutors said.

Lemons was on probation for a 2019 forgery at the time of Bell’s murder, prosecutors said. He has several convictions, including a weapons conviction and another 2019 forgery conviction from Wisconsin.

Lemons, a father of three, recently worked as a meatpacker, an assistant public defender told Judge Mary Marubio.

Marubio ordered Lemons held without bail.

He is expected back in court Feb. 23.