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Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

Brothers Charged In Fatal Shooting Of WGN Security Guard Tried To Carjack Victim At South Shore Gas Station, Prosecutors Say

Salena Claybourne, a mother of two, was killed around 3 p.m. Monday while stopping for gas on her way home for work. A 17-year-old boy and 22-year-old man have been charged with murder.

Salena Claybourne, a 35-year-old mother of two and a security guard at WGN's North Side studios, was shot and killed at a South Shore gas station Monday.
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SOUTH SHORE — Two brothers have been charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a WGN security guard during a botched carjacking at a South Shore gas station Monday.

Salena Claybourne, a 35-year-old mother of two teen girls, was killed around 3 p.m. Monday afternoon at the Mobil gas station on the 6700 block of South Jeffery Boulevard, police said.

Gregory Watson, 22, and his 17-year-old brother tried to steal Claybourne’s SUV after she stopped for gas, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said at the teen’s bond court hearing Wednesday.

The 22-year-old is accused of shooting Claybourne, prosecutors said. He was charged Wednesday afternoon and is scheduled to appear in bond court Thursday.

Watson and his younger brother approached Claybourne after she filled up her tank and got back into her SUV, Murphy said. Watson leaned into Claybourne’s SUV “and within seconds” shot at her multiple times, hitting her in the face and shoulder, Murphy said.

Claybourne was pronounced dead at 3:35 p.m. Monday, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner.

Claybourne worked for Allied Universal Security as a guard at WGN’s studios in the North Center neighborhood, according to the station.

“This victim was coming home from work, was just trying to fill up her tank, and was in the process of leaving when these two brothers saw the opportunity and approached in order to hijack her vehicle,” Murphy said.

The brothers were captured on surveillance video fleeing the gas station with handguns, Murphy said. Other surveillance video shows the teen tossing a gun over a fence at a nearby home before hopping the fence and picking the gun back up, Murphy said.

Police recovered two handguns near a garage where the teen was caught on video “bending down several times,” Murphy said. Ballistics testing shows casings from the shooting were fired from one of the recovered handguns, Murphy said.

Watson was arrested at 3:14 p.m. on the 6800 block of Euclid Avenue, Murphy said. His younger brother was found hiding under a porch on the 6900 block of East End Avenue and arrested at 3:23 p.m., Murphy said.

Watson told police “he was there with his brother … and that all they wanted was [Claybourne’s] car,” Murphy said.

Watson is a part-time FedEx package handler who has nearly completed his GED courses, Watson’s attorney said. The teen is a high school student who has not had contact with his mother since his arrest, despite being a juvenile and despite his mother’s attempts to visit him at the detention center, the teen’s attorney said.

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Barbara Dawkins ordered the teen held without bail Wednesday. Judge Susana Ortiz ordered Watson held without bail Thursday.

Claybourne’s mother organized a GoFundMe to pay for funeral costs, and to support Claybourne’s 15- and 14-year-old daughters. Donors gave more than $12,500 toward the fundraiser’s goal of $30,000 as of Wednesday afternoon.

“Can somebody please find a way to stop the violence?” Donna Claybourne told WGN. “What’s the answer? How many more people’s children are going to die for no reason?”

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