Skip to contents
Lincoln Park, Old Town

Dakotah Earley, Who Was Ambushed And Shot In His Head By Robbers In Lincoln Park, Has Returned Home

"It's been a journey and God has made sure we can be here to tell the story," wrote Earley's mother, Joy Dobbs. "#DakotahEarley is home."

Dakotah Earley has returned home.
Joy Dobbs/Twitter
  • Credibility:

LINCOLN PARK — Dakotah Earley, the 24-year-old culinary arts student who was robbed and shot in his head in May in Lincoln Park, is back home after several surgeries, including a partial leg amputation and jaw reconstruction.

Earley was ambushed May 6 by a pair of robbers. One gunman shot him twice in his back and once in his head, and a neighbor who witnessed the attack rushed to his aid until paramedics arrived. The ambush was caught on widely shared surveillance video.

Early had been hospitalized for months as he recovered.

“It’s been a long day and night, hell it’s been a journey and God has made sure we can be here to tell the story,” Earley’s mom, Joy Dobbs, tweeted on Friday. “#DakotahEarley is home.”

Dobbs has shared updates on Earley on Twitter throughout his recovery. He’s had his leg partially amputated as well as surgery near his abdomen and on his jaw, which was wired shut for reconstruction. He used hand gestures and writing to communicate until he was able to talk again.

Tyshon Brownlee, 19, has been charged with attempted murder in Earley’s shooting. Police and prosecutors said Brownlee robbed and shot Earley during a spree of robberies that culminated in the shooting. Brownlee has also been charged with armed robbery.

Credit: Mack Liederman/Block Club Chicago
Joy Dobbs, mother of shooting victim Dakotah Earley, grips her notebook and reads the letter she wrote to her son’s first responder, David Hussar (middle).

Dobbs spoke about the attack in May during a ceremony thanking the neighbor who rushed to Earley’s rescue. She said she grew up in Chicago and suffers PTSD from gun violence during her childhood.

“Now, watching my son get gunned down, I don’t think it’s ever been scarier,” Dobbs said. “Watching my son on video get gunned down, it’s taken me to places I’ve thought I’m actually over.” 

The neighbor, David Hussar, awoke that morning to the sound of gunshots, he previously said. He looked outside and saw one of the robbers stand over Earley and shoot him, so he grabbed a first-aid kit, ran to Earley and called 911.

“I told him to hold on and not to give up,” Hussar said. “He was in a lot of pain, face down.”

Dobbs spent all of Earley’s recovery in the hospital with him, reading messages from his online fundraiser, which raised nearly $130,000.

Subscribe to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation. 

Thanks for subscribing to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods. Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation.

Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast”: