BY MICHAEL LANSU
Homicide Watch Chicago Editor
A second man has been charged with murder for his role in a November shooting that left Devorite Diggins dead inside an Englewood gas station.
Valton Cooper, 25, was charged with one count of first-degree murder, authorities said. He appeared before Judge Donald Panarese in a gray jacket and jeans and was ordered held on $1.5 million bond.
Diggins and his 21-year-old cousin entered the gas station in the 800 block of West 59th Street about 2:20 p.m. Nov. 13 and the pair began talking with an associate of Diggins’ cousin, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Anthony Lucafo said.
The cousin shook hands multiple times with the associate then the pair attempted to leave the store, Lucafo said. But the associate cut them off and the pair ran to the back of the store, Lucafo said.
Cooper, Trevonti Carson and other males then corner Diggins inside, and Carson shot him in the upper back and abdomen area, prosecutors said.
A wounded Diggins called out for his cousin, who was hiding in another part of the store, Lucafo said.
The cousin tried to run out of the store but Cooper grabbed him, Lucafo said. Carson then shot him in the right arm.
Diggins, 21, of the 6200 block of South Aberdeen Street, died at the scene, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
His cousin suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County for treatment, authorities said.
Video surveillance at the gas station captured the shooting, according to the state’s attorney’s office.
Cooper fled to Iowa and cut his hair, Lucafo said. He was arrested Dec. 12 in Dixmoor, Ill., after an investigative alert was issued for him.
Cooper identified himself as the person on the surveillance video, Lucafo said.
Cooper is single and has two children, ages 4 and 5, Assistant Public Defender Steve Stach said. He graduated Harlan High School and attended some classes at a trade school.
Carson has already been charged and is being held without bond, authorities said. A third person was taken into custody in Wisconsin and has not yet appear in court for Diggins murder.