A North Side man was convicted this week in the 2014 shooting death of a photographer who was caught in the crossfire of a gang attack as he stood at a Rogers Park bus stop.
A Cook County jury found Eric Vaughn guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting of Wil Lewis, the 28-year-old man who was gunned down on July 12, 2014, in the 1300 block of West Devon.
Vaughn, now 36, was at the wheel of a car with two teenage Conservative Vice Lords when he spotted a rival gang member, handed a gun to the passengers and ordered them to “wet that T-shirt up” — meaning make the rival bleed, according to prosecutors.
The teens got out of the car and fired about 10 shots at the rival, missing the 19-year-old intended target, but shooting Lewis in the back, prosecutors said. He died at a hospital less than an hour later.
Vaughn was arrested on foot shortly after the shooting when witnesses identified him to police as the driver of the vehicle. Among the witnesses was Ald. Joe Moore (49th).
“It continues to haunt me,” Moore said in a Wednesday statement. “I especially want to salute the community residents who stepped forward with valuable information that led to the arrest and prosecution of the wrongdoers.”
Lewis, who had just moved into a new apartment in Rogers Park with his wife, was about to start a new job as a photographer for Trunk Club, an online men’s clothing store, when he was killed. He had escaped poverty in Guatemala when he was adopted at age 7. He was raised in Wisconsin, attended art school in Milwaukee and moved to Chicago two years before the shooting.
Vaughn, of the 4400 block of North Clarendon Avenue, had been jailed without bail before Tuesday’s conviction. The teens were arrested later in Wisconsin and remain in juvenile detention.
The intended victim, Shaquon Thomas, who survived a previous shooting that left a bystander dead, was shot to death in 2016.
Contributing: Associated Press