BROOKFIELD, Ill. (WLS) --After an almost year-long investigation, three people have been charged in the murder of Michael Smith, a security guard killed the day he was expected to testify in a criminal case.
Smith was shot in front of his home in January. His wife was inside and heard the shots. Police said the gunman, 25-year-old Jermaine Douglas, followed Smith to Brookfield after Smith appeared in court intending to testify against Douglas' friend in another case.
"The victim Michael Smith parked in front of his Brookfield residence before exiting his car, Douglas pulled up and fired multiple shots at Michael Smith at point-blank range," said Chief James Episcopo of the Brookfield Police Department.
Smith was working security at Shrine Nightclub in Chicago's South Loop several months earlier when he called police to arrest Comfort Robinson. Robinson was charged with several felonies.
Police said they believe that was Robinson's motive to kill Smith.
Brookfield police arrested and charged Robinson, Douglas, and 29-year-old Dejuyon Johnson. All three are charged with first degree murder.
"Michael Smith was a good man, a model citizen, a hardworking family man, who was killed in the prime of his life for doing his job," said Episcopo.
Police had a warrant for Douglas' arrest last week, which led to a chase and a crash at West 87th Street and South Ashland Avenue on Chicago's South Side. Police said they found a loaded 50 caliber handgun on the scene.
Police said Smith's grateful widow and mother sent a gift basket to them Monday after the suspects appeared in court.
"It hurt for a long time and I know everybody will be happy that we came to a conclusion on it," said Episcopo.
Two of the suspects are being held on $250,000 bond, the third is held on no bond. All three are due in court next week.