No bond for man charged with murder of former Mt. Carmel star Lavaell Southern outside West Loop club

Chicago Sun-Times

Andre Harris | Chicago Police

Andre Harris | Chicago Police

A South Side man was denied bond Tuesday in connection with the fatal shooting of former Mount Carmel football player Lavell Southern outside a West Loop club.

Andre Harris knew Southern, because Southern’s girlfriend is friends with the woman Harris had been dating, authorities said. But it was unclear what set off Sunday morning’s argument that led to the deadly shooting in the 1100 block of West Randolph.

Southern, 23, was apparently trying to break up the fight before he was killed, Cook County prosecutors said.

Southern was a star football and basketball player at Mount Carmel High School, according to his family. Southern, the son of a pastor, went on to play at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis., his sister said.

Lavell Southern

Lavell Southern

Southern and his friend, also 23, had just left a club where they had attended a birthday party when they encountered Harris and several other men, Assistant State’s Attorney Kim Przekota said during the bond hearing.

Harris, who goes by the nickname “Dre-Wood,” started to become “aggressive” with Southern’s friend and ended up chasing him, Przekota said.

Southern tried to intervene when another man from Harris’ group pulled a gun and hit Southern in the head with the weapon, Przekota said.

That man then said to Harris, “Blow, Dre,” which Southern and his friend understood to mean “shoot,” authorities said.

So Southern and his friend started running west on Randolph toward Racine. Harris followed and fired, as did the man who had hit Southern in the head seconds before, Przekota said.

Southern was shot in the back and head. Another bullet hit his friend’s arm.

Both men collapsed when they turned the corner on Racine, Przekota said. Southern later died.

Multiple witnesses identified the 31-year-old Harris in photo arrays, Przekota said. He was arrested later Sunday at his home in the 7100 block of South Morgan.

While at Harris’ home, officers saw clothing in a trash bag on the porch, Przekota said. After obtaining a search warrant, they also found bloody pants and two handguns: a 9 mm and a .45 caliber, Przekota said.

Shell casings found on the crime scene matched both guns, Przekota said.

Harris has three prior drug-related convictions.

Defense attorney Sam Adam Jr. said his client works at his family’s demolition company and recently took a job at an auto repair shop. Harris is a father and has another child on the way, Adam said.

Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. told Adam that he “appreciated” his efforts but said Harris was “dangerous.”

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