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Father, sons ambushed rivals in deadly family feud on Far South Side: Prosecutors

Nathaniel Butler Jr. and Maurice Butler are accused of participating in the attack that claimed the life of 35-year-old Jerome Jenkins on Aug. 1.

Two CPD officers were shot Oct. 20, 2021, in suburban Lyons. Sun-Times file photo

A family feud turned deadly when a father and his two sons ambushed their rivals outside their West Pullman home, Cook County prosecutors said Thursday.

The patriarch, allegedly tied to the Aug. 1 attack, remains at large.

But his sons, Nathaniel Butler Jr. and Maurice Butler, have since been arrested and charged with the murder of 35-year-old Jerome Jenkins.

Jenkins is the brother of the Butlers’ sister’s on-again, off-again boyfriend, prosecutors said.

An hour before Jenkins and his father were shot in the 12100 block of South LaSalle Street, the Butlers’ sister went to the Jenkins’ household to confront her boyfriend, prosecutors said.

The couple argued on the porch before the woman started physically attacking her boyfriend, prosecutors said. But she left after her boyfriend’s sister came out and allegedly struck her.

Then, around 10 p.m., a brick came crashing through a front window of the Jenkins’ home, prompting all six family members to come outside and investigate, prosecutors said.

Outside, they saw the Butler brothers and their father standing by a white SUV. The Butlers’ sister was also allegedly standing on the street corner with another woman.

The Butler patriarch went on to tell the Jenkins he was the one who threw the brick, prosecutors said. Then, the Butler brothers and their father started shooting, firing at least 26 shots on the street and front yard, prosecutors said.

Jenkins was struck between the eyes and his thigh, prosecutors said. He was pronounced dead on the scene. Jenkins’ father suffered a graze wound to his hand, prosecutors said.

Nathaniel Butler arrest photo
Nathaniel Butler Jr. arrest photo
Chicago police

Judge John F. Lyke noted Thursday that Jenkins’ murder “all started, honestly, with a bunch of nonsense.”

Police recovered dozens of shell casings that were fired from two 9mm pistols, prosecutors said. Several of the victims’ relatives identified the Butler brothers and their father as the shooters, prosecutors said.

Nathaniel Butler Jr., 20, was arrested Tuesday while carrying a backpack with one of the pistols used in the attack, prosecutors said. He denied being at the scene of the crime.

But Maurice Butler, 23, who was also arrested Tuesday, admitted to detectives on video that he was at the scene of the shooting but did not shoot a weapon, prosecutors said. He did say his father threw the brick and that Nathaniel Butler Jr. opened fire from a pistol with an extended clip, prosecutors said.

Both brothers were on probation for previous gun convictions at the time of the deadly incident, prosecutors said.

Maurice Butler arrest photo
Maurice Butler arrest photo
Chicago police

Maurice Butler lives with his girlfriend and 1-year-old son, his lawyer said. He spent the last three months in a GED program operated by the anti-violence program Chicago CRED, the defense attorney added.

Peter Cunningham, a spokesman for Chicago CRED, said Maurice Butler was in the process of being “vetted” for the program but had not started classes there.

Nathaniel Butler Jr. lives with his mother and had been taking classes at Excel Academy, his attorney said. Both brothers had been working at a restaurant where their mother is a manager, their attorneys told Lyke.

Lyke ordered the brothers held without bail.