Tennis courts

Man accused of killing 2 people at Humboldt Park tennis courts caught with gun used to shoot, prosecutors say

HUMBOLDT PARK – The Chicago man accused of killing two men in a brazen daytime shooting at the namesake Humboldt Park this week was chased by police and caught with a weapon linked to the ambush, said prosecutors in court on Thursday.

When officers arrested 25-year-old John Corona near the park on Monday afternoon, he had an empty 40-caliber Glock on him. Tests on 13 casings found in the park matched the weapon, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors also said video footage from the scene linked Corona, of Gage Park, to the shooting, which killed Devel Jones, 34, and Antwon Gee, 35.

A judge ordered Corona held without bond during Thursday’s hearing. He is charged with two counts of first degree murder. No motive for the shooting was offered to the court.

Prosecutors said Corona was part of a three-person group who killed the men in Monday’s coordinated attack at 3 p.m. near the park’s tennis courts in the 1300 block of North Luis Munoz Marin Drive.

Corona and two other men were hanging out in the park when Jones and Gee pulled up in a car, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said in bond court Thursday. Corona then passed an “item” to one of the men before the group “ambushed” Jones and Gee, shooting them multiple times, Murphy said. Part of the attack was filmed.

“These three defendants, acting in concert, just lit up Humboldt Park with 23 shots,” Murphy said.

Jones and Gee were pronounced dead at the scene after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds. Jones was shot in the head, chest, torso and right shoulder, while Gee was shot in the buttocks, thigh, abdomen and torso, Murphy said.

RELATED: 2 killed in namesake Humboldt Park, 3 injured in separate shooting in neighborhood

The shooting rocked Humboldt Park on an unusually hot spring day. Neighbors flocked to the neighborhood’s namesake park to enjoy the warm weather as family and friends of the two deceased men gathered to mourn.

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Families in Humboldt Park near where two men, aged 34 and 35, were shot on May 9, 2022.

Corona was arrested shortly after the shooting. Officers chased him down an alley and detained him as he attempted to jump a fence. They recovered the empty Glock and bags of cannabis, Murphy said.

A witness who provided police with video of the attack identified Corona as one of the shooters. Corona wore a black hoodie and red and white shoes and carried a shoulder bag in the videos and when officers arrested him.

He was charged Wednesday with two counts of first-degree murder.

During Thursday’s hearing, Corona’s attorney Joshua Kutnick called the prosecution’s case “pure speculation”, saying the witness only identified Corona’s clothes – not her face.

Corona is a lifelong Chicagoan who works as a welder, like his father, and has his GED, Kutnick said.

“Dark hoodies aren’t uncommon in the city of Chicago,” Kutnick said. “It is not unreasonable for anyone to run away from multiple gunshots. This does not necessarily mean that this person was a shooter or was with the shooters. This person is afraid.

But in denying Corona bail, a Cook County judge sided with the prosecutor, who used a police POD camera and surveillance footage, as well as cellphone video, to building a case against Corona, who is currently on parole for armed robbery.

“This is not a situation where it was a random individual on the street with a hoodie. There was a bit more about how this defendant was related to the incident,” the judge said.

Police are still searching for the Corona co-conspirators, one of whom was filmed slipping a 9mm Glock under a car as he fled the scene, Murphy said. Ballistics revealed that some of the casings found at the scene were from that weapon, he said.

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