PAXTON — A Chicago man awaiting trial in Ford County on felony burglary and retail theft charges is believed to have been killed in a shooting in the Englewood neighborhood on the city’s South Side.
Ford County State’s Attorney Andrew Killian said Wednesday that he was awaiting the receipt of a death certificate from the man’s private attorney, Purav Bhatt of Chicago, to confirm that he is indeed the 26-year-old who was reportedly killed in the April 23 shooting.
If the deceased is confirmed to be Rakeem R. Burris, the Class 2 felony burglary charge and Class 3 felony retail theft charge that were filed against him last December will be dismissed and his $2,500 bond could be refunded.
Burris was due in Ford County Circuit Court for a pretrial hearing in front of Judge Matt Fitton on Tuesday but did not appear.
On April 25, the court received a Chicago Tribune news report identifying a man with the same name and age as Burris as being killed two days earlier when bullets hit his face and torso as he was sitting inside a car in the 200 block of West 57th Street in Chicago. Also in the car was a 27-year-old man who was shot in his left leg and arm, the news report said.
Last December, Burris was arrested on a Ford County arrest warrant by the Cook County Gang Task Force.
Paxton police obtained the warrant after they identified Burris as the man who was captured on surveillance video stealing three different brands of cigarettes with a total value estimated at more than $700 on Nov. 1, 2018, at Paxton Variety Liquors, 403 S. Railroad Ave.
Paxton Police Sgt. Robert Yates said Burris walked into the store and asked to buy several cartons of cigarettes, and as the clerk was putting them into bags, Burris acted like he was going to pay for them but then grabbed the cigarettes without paying and fled.
Paxton Police Chief Coy Cornett said Burris also “did something similar in Chatham.”
Killian noted during Burris’ arraignment last December that he would not be eligible for probation on the burglary charge because of a previous Class X felony conviction in Cook County.