TW: Video at the bottom of this article is extremely graphic and upsetting to watch
As a group of young men attempting to stop a fight outside a local gay bar were struck by a car, killing three and injuring a fourth. Police now say they suspect it was intentional.
The fatal hit-and-run was captured on dashboard camera footage at 5am on Sunday (August 14), near the Jeffrey Pub, a Black-owned gay bar in the Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood.
All four men were taken to area hospitals, with three succumbing to their injuries, according to police. A fourth victim was seriously injured, and is still hospitalized.
Police later recovered the car – a sedan – around four blocks away from the venue, but are still searching for its driver.
Brenden Deenihan, the Chicago Police Department chief of detectives, said in an update on the attack (August 15) that officials aren’t investigating the incident as a hate crime yet.
“We don’t have any evidence to support that someone was trying to harm these individuals because of their race, religion, etcetera,” Deenihan said, per CBS.
“It appears there was an argument inside that establishment, it spills out onto the street, and then there’s an ongoing altercation at that point,” Deenihan further added.
“Then you can see that this individual gets into the car and then commits this horrific act.”
“You can’t charge a car with a crime, obviously,” he then added, saying: “We need to know who the driver was, and we know the people out there know that.”
Deenihan said there is “a lot of work to do” while department investigators try to bring “some solace to some of these families.”
“I was standing outside the bar talking to one of the victims,” one witness told WMAQ-TV. “I took like three steps, and a car came and hit him and he flew over the car.”
While Jeffery Pub, one of the longest serving Black-owned gay bars in America and the venue by where the incident happened, shared a message on its Facebook page after the incident:
“Our hearts are heavy this morning that such a tragic event has occurred,” the bar said in its statement. “We always encourage everyone to leave and to go their vehicles right away to make it home safe, and tonight, this happened.”
BlockClubChicago reports 25-year-old Donald Huey was one of three men killed, who was said to be “healing from his brother’s death” and “on the right track”, having started a new life in Los Angeles. He had been home visiting friends and family in Chicago, his sister said.
The driver also killed 27-year-old Devonta Vivetter and 23-year-old Jaylen Ausley. A fourth man, Carlee J. McKinney, survived the incident told ABC Chicago he was out at the bar with Vivetter and Huey, his two best friends.
“All I remember is I was trying to get my close family friend, I call him my cousin, I was trying to get him from fighting another male,” McKinney said.
“By the time we got halfway in the street, this car came from the street and I seen it through the periphery, seen the bright light,” McKinney said. “That’s what made me jump back. Next thing I know I was hit and woke up in the ambulance.”
The National Black Justice Coalition is reported to be requesting the incident be investigated as a hate crime, however CPD they currently don’t have the evidence to support that.
Dash cam footage of the incident is below and comes with a BIG trigger warning as it’s highly distressing.
Dash cam footage of hit and run in the Jackson Park Highlands neighborhood of Chicago that occurred at about 5 a.m this morning
— The Aftermath™️ (@aftermathvids) August 14, 2022