Deshawn Johnson / Photo from Chicago Police
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN
A murder suspect who allegedly killed a Chinese restaurant employee because he only got $20 from a hold-up after demanding fried rice escaped from custody and sprinted from a courtroom Friday before he was tackled to the ground by a Cook County prosecutor.
“Get him! Get him” Judge Peggy Chiampas screamed as 26-year-old Deshawn Johnson ran past lawyers and spectators and through the door of Courtroom 101 at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse.
Assistant State’s Attorney Barry Quinn, who quickly tailed Johnson, pulling off the suspect’s coat, was able to the tackle Logan Square man just feet outside the courtroom.
“I started feeling all these bodies on top of me,” a gray pin-striped suit wearing Quinn later said of the half dozen sheriff’s deputies who joined the frenzied tackle.
Johnson wasn’t ready to be taken back into custody.
“Kill me. Kill me now because I don’t want to go back,” Johnson screamed as he was pinned down.
Johnson was eventually taken into custody, kicking and screaming and Quinn was applauded by his co-workers for his efforts.
Just minutes before, Chiampas ordered Johnson held without bail for the October murder of 40-year-old Chang Qui and two separate armed robberies.
Johnson killed Qui because he wasn’t happy with the small amount of cash Qui gave him during the Halloween incident at the See Thru Chinese Kitchen at 5279 W. Madison St., said Assistant State’s Attorney Enrique Abraham.
Johnson initially came into the restaurant and demanded fried rice.
But when Qui told him there were no fried rice orders waiting, Johnson became angry, Abraham said.
When Qui took money from the next customer — a woman who was seven months pregnant — Johnson allegedly pulled out a black pistol and held Qui up.
Qui refused to give Johnson money, prompting Johnson to fire two to three times, striking Qui in the back and thigh, Abraham said.
Johnson then pointed his weapon at the pregnant woman who hid beside a garbage can, Abraham said.
The woman begged for her life and told Johnson she was pregnant.
Johnson paused for a several seconds before running out, Abraham said.
Johnson is also charged with taking $600 from the Logan Liquor Store and shooting an employee in the right leg at the business at 2639 N. Kedzie Ave., Abraham said.
The victim in the June 21 holdup survived but cannot run and still undergoes physical therapy.
Roughly a month later, Johnson allegedly held up David Food and Liquor at 3158 W. Montrose Ave.
In that armed robbery, Johnson took two bottles of vodka and demanded money once he got to the register, Abraham said.
An employee gave $1,500 but Johnson still fired his weapon, as other customers, including two little girls, looked on, Abraham said.
Luckily, an employee dodged the bullet, which struck a liquor bottle behind him, only leaving him with a soaked shirt.
Johnson left that business but then came back a few minutes later to wipe his fingerprints off the counter and front door.
However, dropped his cell phone, which officers were able to use to track him down, Abraham said.
Police recovered a gun from Johnson’s residence, in the 5200 block of W. Quincy Street, Abraham said.
It was determined that the shell casings from all three incidents most likely came that weapon, Abraham said.
Johnson allegedly gave a handwritten statement of his involvement in the two liquor store armed robberies and a videotaped confession of the fall murder.
He was also captured on surveillance footage from the David Food and Liquor incident and clothes he wore that day were found in his apartment, Abraham said.
Witnesses from the July and October armed robberies also identified him, Abraham said.