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Man charged with murder during botched armed robbery at Far South Side gas station

When Rodney Hawkins, 20, and two others tried to steal cash, shoes and a car from Kieer Pargo and another man at a Pullman Citgo Saturday, Pargo shot Hawkins. But then one of Hawkins’ cohorts returned fire and killed Pargo, Cook County prosecutors said.

Cook County Jail.
Cook County Jail.
Sun-Times file photo

A Roseland man has been charged with the murder of a man who was shot and killed during a shootout following a botched armed robbery at a Far South Side gas station.

When Rodney Hawkins, 20, and two others allegedly tried to steal cash, shoes and a car from Kieer Pargo and another man at a Pullman Citgo Saturday, Pargo shot Hawkins.

But then one of Hawkins’ cohorts returned fire and killed Pargo, Cook County prosecutors said Thursday.

The gunman and Hawkins’ other cohort have not yet been charged.

Hawkins’ face could be “clearly seen” on high-definition surveillance footage around 11:30 p.m. purchasing a bag of Swedish Fish with a cohort at the gas station’s store, at 701 E. 103rd St., Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.

While Hawkins was inside, Pargo and his 34-year-old friend pulled up and parked at a fuel pump behind the minivan that Hawkins and his friends had arrived in, Murphy said.

Pargo, 36, waited inside the car while his friend went inside to make a purchase.

As Pargo’s friend was coming in, Hawkins and his cohort asked him “What was up?” as they were leaving, Murphy said.

Pargo’s friend said that he wasn’t from the neighborhood and continued inside.

Hawkins and his cohort went back to their minivan, retrieved guns and went back to the store to confront Pargo’s friend as he was leaving, Murphy said.

Hawkins then allegedly told the man, he knew “what time it was.”

Pargo’s friend responded by dropping $3,000 in cash to the ground.

Hawkins grabbed the money and walked the victim back to his car at gunpoint, Murphy said.

Then, Hawkins and his two cohorts pulled Pargo out of the car and went through his and his friend’s pockets, Murphy said. After searching the car, Hawkins and his cohorts allegedly announced they were also going to steal the car, Murphy said.

As Hawkins walked back to the minivan with some of the victims’ belongings, Pargo pulled out a gun and shot Hawkins at close range, Murphy said.

Hawkins’ cohorts then returned fire, striking Pargo, who later died at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Hawkins was loaded into the minivan by his friends, who took him to Jackson Park Hospital, Murphy said. An ambulance outside Jackson Park Hospital then took Hawkins to the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Police were not notified of the hospital transfer and were unaware of where Hawkins was hospitalized for three days, Murphy said.

During that time, Hawkins’ parents’ home was “shot up” and his mother and father went to a police station to report the damage and Hawkins’ encounter at the Citgo. During the interview with detectives, the couple identified their son on the gas station’s security footage, Murphy said.

Hawkins allegedly confessed to his role in the attempted robbery and identified himself in the surveillance footage while he was hospitalized. His fingerprints were also found on a gun he dropped at the gas station after he was shot, Murphy said.

Hawkins remained hospitalized and did not appear in court Thursday.

An assistant public defender noted that Hawkins did not fire any weapon during the deadly incident.

Judge Arthur Wesley Willis ordered Hawkins held on $2 million cash bond.

Hawkins’ case is up again on April 15.