Lincoln Park shooting victim leaves ICU. ‘Praise God,’ mother says

“He’s doing great but there’s still hurdles to jump,” Dakotah Earley’s mother Joy Dobbs said.

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Dakotah Earley at Illinois Masonic Medical Center on Wednesday.

Dakotah Earley at Illinois Masonic Medical Center on Wednesday.

Joy Dobbs/Twitter

A man who was shot on the street in Lincoln Park while being robbed of his cellphone has left intensive care and continues to improve.

“He’s doing great but there’s still hurdles to jump,” his mother Joy Dobbs said Thursday.

Dakotah Earley left the ICU at Illinois Masonic Medical Center on Wednesday and will no longer need a nurse every hour, Dobbs said. He’s no longer on dialysis, but his jaw will remain wired shut for three more weeks, she said.

“Praise God,” Dobbs wrote on Twitter announcing the news.

Earley, who turned 24 last week, was shot on May 6 as he struggled with a gunman who knocked him down and fired at least three times.

Earley has had part of his leg amputated. Last week, he was still unable to speak and possibly faced a third surgery to amputate his leg further, his mother said, but that wasn’t necessary. He also had surgery to close up his abdomen.

Dakotah Earley was shot and seriously wounded during a robbery on May 6 in Lincoln Park.

Dakotah Earley.

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Earley’s condition continues to improve, she said. Last weekend, Dobbs said her son was awake and writing a wish list.

“He wants some Ollie pop, some kombucha. Learn to drive (finally) and his own place” with no roommates, Dobbs tweeted. Later that day, he was able to sit up and hug her, she said.

Dobbs spoke publicly about her son last week and thanked the person who tended to her son while waiting for an ambulance to arrive. Tyshon Brownlee, 19, has been charged in the attack on Earley and in four other armed robberies on the North Side.

Prosectors have said Earley was walking on a sidewalk near the corner of Webster and Wayne avenues when Brownlee stepped out from behind a building, pointed a gun and demanded his cellphone and passcode.

The 9 mm handgun Brownlee was holding went off as they struggled and Earley tried to defend himself, police said. Brownlee then stood over Earley and shot him again, paused, and shot him a third time.

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Joy Dobbs, mother of shooting victim Dakotah Earley, speaks during a news conference at City Hall in the Loop, Monday morning, May 23, 2022.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Doctors expect Earley to begin acute rehab in the next three or four weeks, where he’ll learn to use a prosthetic leg, Dobbs said.

The experience has been “extremely hard” emotionally, Dobbs said.

“Pretty much the whole world watched my son get gunned down. I can only imagine what he’s going through and what he remembers,” she said.

Although Earley can’t speak, his face “lights up” and he has the same sense of humor, his mother said. “He has a good outlook and perspective.”

A frame from security video of the robbery in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Dakotah Earley, 23, was walking on a sidewalk at Webster and Wayne avenues on May 6.

A frame from security video of the robbery in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Dakotah Earley, 23, was walking on a sidewalk at Webster and Wayne avenues on May 6.

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Family and friends have helped Dobbs and her son in the recovery.

“Someone reminded me that self-love helps me continue to take care of him. Sometimes I forget that because I’m on autopilot, making sure he has everything he needs,” she said. “He’s just the most amazing person I know right now. He’s fighting so hard.

“From all the tragedy, there’s still some really good people in Chicago,” Dobbs said.

“Sometimes people send him cookbooks and cards and he makes a face like he can’t believe it,” she said. Early had been studying to become a chef.

“He’s the kind of kid who doesn’t want attention,” his mother said. “But he has all of Chicago’s attention right now.”

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