HUMBOLDT PARK — The Chicago man charged with killing two men during a brazen daytime shooting in Humboldt Park’s namesake park this week was chased by police and caught with a gun tied to the ambush, prosecutors said in court Thursday.
When officers arrested John Corona, 25, near the park Monday afternoon, he had an empty 40-caliber Glock on him. Tests on 13 shell casings found at the park matched the gun, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors also said video footage from the scene ties Corona, of Gage Park, to the shooting, which killed Devel Jones, 34, and Antwon Gee, 35.
A judge ordered Corona held without bail during the hearing Thursday. He’s charged with two counts of first degree murder. No motive in the shootings was offered in court.
Prosecutors said Corona, was among a group of three who fatally shot the men during the coordinated 3 p.m. Monday attack near the park’s tennis courts in the 1300 block of North Luis Munoz Marin Drive.
Corona and two other men were hanging out in the park when Jones and Gee pulled up in a car, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said in bond court Thursday. Corona then passed an “object” to one of the men before the group “ambushed” Jones and Gee, shooting them multiple times, Murphy said. Some of the attack was captured on camera.
“These three defendants, acting in concert, just absolutely lit up Humboldt Park with 23 shots,” Murphy said.
Jones and Gee were pronounced dead on the scene after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds. Jones was shot in his head, chest, torso and right shoulder, while Gee was hit in his buttocks, thigh, abdomen and torso, Murphy said.
The shooting rocked Humboldt Park on an unseasonably warm spring day. Neighbors flocked to the the neighborhood’s namesake park to enjoy the warm weather as family and friends of the two men who died gathered to grieve.
Corona was arrested not long after the shooting. Officers chased him through an alley and detained him while he was trying to jump a fence. They recovered the empty Glock and bags of cannabis, Murphy said.
A witness who provided police with video of the attack identified Corona as one of the shooters. Corona was wearing a black hoodie and red and white shoes and carrying a cross-body satchel in videos and when officers detained him.
He was charged Wednesday with two counts of first-degree murder.
During Thursday’s court hearing, Corona’s attorney, Joshua Kutnick, called the prosecution’s case “pure speculation,” saying the witness only identified Corona’s clothing — and not his face.
Corona is a lifelong Chicagoan who works as a welder, like his father, and has his GED, Kutnick said.
“Dark hoodies are not an uncommon piece of clothing in the city of Chicago,” Kutnick said. “It is not unreasonable for any person to run away from multiple shots being fired. It does not necessarily mean this person was a shooter or was with the shooters. That person is in fear.”
But in denying Corona’s bail, a Cook County judge sided with prosecutors, who used police POD camera and surveillance footage, along with cellphone video, to build a case against Corona, who is currently on parole for armed robbery.
“It’s not a situation where it was some random individual on the street with a hoodie. There was quite a bit more to how this defendant was tied to the incident,” the judge said.
Police are still searching for Corona’s co-conspirators, one of whom was caught on video sliding a 9mm Glock under a car while fleeing the scene, Murphy said. Ballistics revealed some of the shell casings found on the scene came from that gun, he said.
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