Rapper accused of murdering rival in front of his kids
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When Vallan Francis saw a rival gang member riding a bicycle down his West Ridge block Friday afternoon, he and his fiancee rushed to grab their little children who were playing on the front lawn.
Francis’ fiancee knew the 19-year-old as “Lil Shawn” and agreed with Francis the teenager was “dangerous,” Cook County prosecutors said Tuesday.
They were right, according to authorities.
As Francis, 22, was retrieving a daughter’s bicycle from in front of his home in the 2000 block of West Arthur Avenue, he was allegedly gunned by Shawn Randall as Francis’ fiancee and children — ages 3, 4 and 7 — watched in horror.
Randall is a local rapper who recently performed a duet titled “Shooter” with slain rapper Young Pappy. Lil Shawn’s videos, including his song with Young Pappy, are featured on YouTube. Young Pappy was gunned down in May in the Uptown neighborhood.
On Friday, just five minutes after Randall bicycled down Francis’ block, Randall walked up to the west side of Francis’ building and shot Francis four times in broad daylight, Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Cooper said.
Randall, who violated his probation for a 2014 drug conviction at least seven times, had the hood of his sweatshirt drawn tight around the bottom of his face. But Francis’ fiancee recognized the top of his face as well as his brown-tipped dreadlocks, Cooper said.
Earlier when Randall was on the bicycle, she noticed the distinct dreadlocks as well as Randall’s wardrobe, which then consisted of a white shirt with black lines, pants and white shoes, Cooper said.
After the shooting, Randall, clutching a black gun, ran north on Seeley Avenue, Cooper said.
Someone who heard the gunfire then saw the gunman flee west down an alley near Arthur Avenue, Cooper said.
Surveillance video captured Randall riding a bicycle in the direction of Francis’ home before the shooting and running away in a black hoodie after, authorities said.
Randall and Francis were members of different factions of the Gangster Disciples, Cooper said.
Randall has been on electronic monitoring while he awaits a probation violation hearing. Records show he left his registered house at 12:52 p.m. Friday and did not come back home until 10 p.m. that evening, Cooper said.
Randall was arrested Sunday.
Randall was identified as the shooter by a witness, Cooper said. A silver bicycle was recovered from the back of Francis’ building.
During a court hearing Tuesday, Randall’s attorney described his client as being “kind of like homeless.” Court records indicate Randall lives in the 6300 block of North Lakewood Avenue in the Edgewater neighborhood.
Randall was shot in the leg when he was in high school, his attorney said. He was working toward his GED at Truman College, the defense attorney added.
Judge Peggy Chiampas ordered Randall held without bail.
Before denying bail, Chiampas asked Randall to “stop moving around” and to face her while Cooper discussed his case.
The judge later shook her head when she heard Randall had violated his probation more than a dozen times since October. She also noted that Francis was killed as he tried to take his children inside to “evade” the alleged gunman.