On December 3, 2020, at 2402 W 118th St, recently retired Chicago Fire Department Lieutenant Dwain Williams was killed during an attempted carjacking.
Detectives responded to the scene and began the follow-up investigation. While there, the detectives were able to acquire video surveillance of the shooting. This included footage of three offenders getting out of a black Ford Fusion where the video was able to capture the license plate of this vehicle.
After processing the scene, Detective Rickher placed the offender’s vehicle into a “Seeking to Identify” message and sent this message through the Critical Reach System to all surrounding suburban police departments.
While the investigation continued, officers from nearby jurisdictions began to call in tips to the Area Two Homicide Office. Detective Crenshaw met with suburban agencies and was provided the names of 13 possible offenders. Detectives Clifford and McGinnis went to multiple gas stations in Markham and Chicago Heights where they recovered video surveillance showing the theft of multiple vehicles, as well as the 2013 Ford Fusion, wanted for this murder.
On 05 December 2020, Detectives were notified by the Orland Park Police that the vehicle had been located. Detective Delfavero arranged for the relocation of the vehicle to the pound. Detective Rickher arranged for the execution of a search warrant of the vehicle.
On 07 December 2020, the search warrant was completed, and 19 fingerprint lifts were recovered. Out of the 19 lifts, 7 were determined to be suitable for AFIS. The prints were submitted and four came back positive. Three returned to a juvenile. The warrant also found a phone connected to the car subscribed to one of the suspects. Detective Rickher was informed that the juvenile whose three prints had come back to him had been arrested for auto theft in Markham. This juvenile had been adjudicated at Juvenile Court that day. Our awardees went to Markham and searched the vehicle that this juvenile had stolen. Detectives were able to find a cellular device in the vehicle that had belonged to the juvenile and executed a warrant on this phone. The video of the shooting was released to the public and tips from concerned citizens began to pour into the Area. After the video of the shooting was released to the public, family members of one of the suspects began coming forward.
Based on the evidence that this juvenile’s phone had been recovered and his fingerprints were inside and outside of the Ford Fusion, he was subsequently apprehended and brought into Area Two Detective Division on the 16th of December 2020.
The juvenile offender was interviewed by Detectives Rickher and Delfavero in the presence of his mother. She was shown the footage recovered and identified her son as the subject exiting the rear passenger side of the vehicle and fleeing once the shooting began. The juvenile was interviewed further and gave a full confession implicating his co-defendants. He explained that he had exited the vehicle to assist in the driving of Dwain Williams’ Jeep. While this interrogation was occurring, one of the other suspects was apprehended and brought into Area Two Detective Division. Both of the suspects in custody were charged with 1st Degree Murder and Attempt Armed Robbery.
Detectives re-doubled their efforts to apprehend the remaining two suspects. Detectives were informed that one of the suspects had been shot in Chicago Heights and that their police department had his clothing. Detectives Rickher and Delfavero went to Chicago Heights and recovered the clothing. This clothing was submitted to ISP and was a match to the shoe print at the crime scene and recovered by Detectives.
Detectives requested that warrants be issued by the Cook County State’s Attorney for the arrest of both suspects. Fugitive apprehension was alerted to the fact that one was wanted on multiple warrants, and the officers were able to track him to a motel in Lansing
The FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force was aware of the involvement of the remaining suspect in this murder and had information that he might be staying with a girlfriend at her Grandmother’s apartment in Altgeld Gardens. The agents and officers arrived only to be told that he had left the state with his girlfriend and her three-year-old son. The three were in Pennsylvania. The Grandmother believed that the girlfriend – her granddaughter – was taken by force to Pennsylvania. Detective Rickher made a case report for kidnapping and the offender was apprehended in Pennsylvania. The final suspect was extradited back by Detectives Rickher, Delfavero, and Crenshaw. During this extensive investigation, over 20 search warrants were executed, two full confessions from murder offenders were captured on videotape, and four extremely violent and reckless murder and stick-up suspects were taken off the streets.
Thanks to the successful and outstanding follow-up investigation of these officers, four dangerous and reckless subjects were arrested and charged with Murder and Attempt Aggravated Attempted Vehicular Hijacking. It is an honor to name these officers our February Officers of the Month presented by Police Mortgage.