Man charged with fatally shooting fellow passenger in car last July on Dan Ryan

A South Shore man was denied bail Thursday and accused of fatally shooting another man while they were riding together in a vehicle in last summer on the Dan Ryan Expressway.

Deonte Young, 26, faces a charge of first-degree murder in the July 27 shooting of 33-year-old Shaquille Dirkans, according to Cook County prosecutors.

Late in the evening July 27, Young was a backseat passenger in a white Mercedes as the vehicle drove on Interstate 94 near the Interstate 55 interchange, prosecutors said.

Without provocation or warning, Young, who was distraught over the death of a friend six years earlier, took out a gun and shot 23-year-old Shaquille Dirkans in the neck as Dirkans sat beside him, prosecutors said.

Deonte Young | Chicago police

The front-seat passenger looked back and saw Young holding a gun and then wrestled the gun from Young’s hand, prosecutors said. Young bit the passenger near his left eye during the struggle, and then tried to climb into the front seat and began to attack the driver.

The vehicle was brought to a stop in the inbound lanes of the expressway near 25th Street, Illinois State Police said at the time.

Young chased the driver from the vehicle while the front-seat passenger fled and discarded the gun over the side of the I-55 on-ramp, prosecutors said. Responding state troopers found Young was found bloodied and laying in a grassy area about three blocks away.

Dirkens was found covered in blood in the back seat of the Mercedes and pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. The handgun was found near the expressway where it had been dropped and a spent shell casing was found inside the vehicle and forensic testing has since matched the casing to the weapon.

The driver and front-seat passenger both identified Young as “the only person holding a gun” when Dirkans was shot, prosecutors said.

An arrest warrant charging Young with Dirkans’ killing was issued Nov. 29, according to court records.

On Wednesday, Chicago police officers responding to a call of a person with a gun in the 6300 block of South Racine tried to detain Young for questioning, according to his arrest report.

Young fled the stop, but was taken into custody about a block away, police said. During the pursuit, he was seen tossing a .40-caliber Glock handgun to the ground and was also found in possession of an additional magazine loaded with live rounds.

Prosecutors said Young is a convicted felon and is not allowed to possess a weapon.





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