Prosecutors: Eric Vaughn handed gun to person who fatally shot William Lewis in Rogers Park

Eric Vaughn / Photo from Chicago Police

Eric Vaughn / Photo from Chicago Police

Homicide Watch Chicago Editor

Eric Vaughn was sentenced to seven years in prison for a 2004 attempted murder conviction. Now he is being held without bond on murder charges for his alleged role in a Saturday afternoon shooting on the North Side that left innocent bystander William Lewis dead.

Vaughn, a purported member of the Conservative Vice Lords street gang, was driving his car when another person in the car saw a rival gang member walking in the 1300 block of West Devon Avenue about 3:20 p.m. Saturday, said Assistant State’s Attorney Glen Runk.

Vaughn stopped the car, pulled a gun from the center console, gave it to one of the passengers and said “wet that T-shirt up,” meaning make the rival gang member bleed, Runk said.

Two passengers exited the car and fired about 10 shots at the suspected rival, Runk said. The 19-year-old intended target was not struck, but Wil Lewis was shot in the back as he waited at a nearby bus stop, Runk said.

Ald. Joe Moore (49th) said he witnessed the shooting.

“I happened to be on Devon only a block from the shooting and heard the gunfire,” he said in a statement. “I looked up to see the assailant, who appeared to be a teenager, continue to fire his weapon at a group of fleeing youths. It is something I will never forget.”

Lewis, 28, of the 4700 block of North Hermitage Avenue, died at Presence Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston less than an hour later, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Lewis attended art school in Milwaukee and moved to Chicago about two years ago, his friend Warren Rader said. He and his wife had moved in to Rogers Park just two weeks ago and he was set to start a new job Monday as a staff photographer for Trunk Club, an online men’s clothing store.

William Lewis / Submitted photo

William Lewis / Submitted photo

After the shooting, the gunman and his accomplice chased the suspected rival across the street. Vaughn attempted to pick up the pair, but couldn’t find them after the chase, Runk said.

Vaughn sped off down a residential street, almost struck another vehicle, then parked his car near the shooting scene, Runk said. Witnesses identified Vaughn to responding officers, who took him into custody, he said.

Vaughn, 31, of the 4400 block of North Clarendon Avenue, is charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder, police said. He is also charged with a misdemeanor count of reckless driving and three traffic citations for having no insurance, driving the wrong way on a one-way street and having no valid registration.

Vaughn was sentenced to seven years in prison for a 2004 attempted murder charge and two years in prison for a 2007 aggravated battery to a police officer charge. He also has been convicted three times for possession of a controlled substance.

On Monday, Judge Donald Panarese ordered Vaughn held without bond.

Vaughn has two children, ages 1 and 3, and lives with his pregnant fiance, his lawyer said. He obtained a G.E.D. and had been working at a car wash.

The shooter and his accomplice were photographed by a witness, but have not yet been charged for the murder, authorities said.

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