Demarcus Brandon / Photo from Illinois Department of Corrections
(HARVEY) A parolee shot dead by a South Side store owner during an alleged attempted robbery Tuesday evening was a prime suspect in a shooting that wounded a south suburban Harvey police last month, authorities said.
Harvey detectives were searching for Demarcus Brandon for nearly three weeks after receiving information that he was may have been the gunman who wounded Harvey police Officer Robert Rolfe in November, Harvey police announced Thursday.
On Tuesday, Brandon tried to rob a cell phone store in the 1700 block of East 87th Street at gunpoint, authorities said. The store’s owner, armed with a handgun himself, shot and killed him, authorities said.
Brandon, of the of 120 block of East 140th Court in Riverdale, was pronounced dead at the scene, the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.
An autopsy determined Brandon died of multiple gunshot wounds and his death was ruled a homicide, according to the medical examiner’s office.
The store owner was not injured, and police say charges are not likely to be filed against him.
Harvey police believe items found at Tuesday’s crime scene, including the gun, are the same used to shoot Rolfe, who was wounded while responding to a Nov. 24 robbery at 159th and Wood street in Harvey.
Police are awaiting the results of a ballistics test to confirm the connection.
Brandon was paroled in July from the Shawnee Correctional Center, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records.
In 2007, he was arrested while fleeing the scene of an armed robbery attempt in Dolton, according to Harvey police. During the chase, he entered Harvey and pointed his gun in the direction of an officer, who shot him in the neck.
Brandon survived the gunshot wound and was convicted of armed robbery, armed violence and unlawful use of a weapon. He was sentenced to concurrent prison terms of three and 13 years, but was paroled in July, according to IDOC records.
Harvey’s mayor said he should never have been paroled.
“While I’m grateful that this nightmare has come to an end, I’m equally outraged concerning our gun laws that allowed this coward to walk the streets early,” Mayor Eric J. Kellogg said in the statement.
“Something must be done. Our residents our unsafe as well as our hard working policemen. I join Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in calling upon the state legislature to work harder in strengthening the current gun laws,” Kellogg said.
Rolfe, a six-year police veteran, has been recovering at home since the shooting.
— Sun-Times Media Wire