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Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

Attacker Who Fatally Stabbed Man Experiencing Homelessness Claimed He Was ‘Being Disrespectful,’ Prosecutors Say

Efrain Lopez, of suburban Crystal Lake, was charged with first-degree murder in the attack outside of a liquor store in September, which was caught on surveillance camera, prosecutors said.

Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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HUMBOLDT PARK — A man accused of fatally stabbing a person experiencing homelessness in Humboldt Park earlier this year did so because the man was a “being disrespectful,” prosecutors said Friday.

Efrain Lopez, 48, of suburban Crystal Lake, was charged with first-degree murder last week. Police and prosecutors said Lopez fatally stabbed 26-year-old Dakwane Steffon Jackson in September. A Cook County judge ordered Lopez held without bail Friday.

The attack occurred occurred about 9:15 p.m. Sept. 23 in the 3300 block of West North Avenue, prosecutors said.

Jackson was standing outside of a liquor store at 3313 W. North Ave., when a woman approached and asked if he’d watch her bicycle and if he wanted anything from the store, prosecutors said.

Lopez then pulled up to the store in a car with two other people, prosecutors said. As Lopez walked into the store, he and Jackson “exchanged words,” prosecutors said.

The two did not know each other before that, prosecutors said.

The woman who offered to buy Jackson something at the store handed Jackson a soda he’d requested, prosecutors said. As Jackson and the woman were talking, Lopez yelled at Jackson for “being disrespectful,” prosecutors said.

Lopez punched Jackson in the face and Jackson fell to the ground, prosecutors said. Lopez then got on top of Jackson and continued to hit him as he attempted to fight back to protect himself, prosecutors said.

Amid the chaos, Jackson yelled that Lopez was stabbing him, prosecutors said. The woman and one of Lopez’s friends grabbed Lopez’s arm to pull him off of Jackson, prosecutors said.

Lopez dropped a knife he had been holding, prosecutors said. The woman grabbed it, but Lopez picked it back up, then ran into the car and he and his two friends drove off to Lopez’s uncle’s home on Hamlin Avenue, prosecutors said.

Jackson was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead from a stab wound to the chest, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Liquor store’s surveillance camera and police pod cameras captured Lopez beating Jackson, then driving off with his two friends, prosecutors said. Multiple witnesses identified Lopez as Jackson’s attacker, prosecutors said.

Lopez’s phone records, obtained by police through a search warrant, placed Lopez at the scene of the crime, prosecutors said. Blood was found on the passenger side of Lopez’s car. Forensic testing is ongoing, prosecutors said.

Police arrested Lopez Thursday. He is next scheduled to appear in court Jan. 5.

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