'Downright disgusting': Young man fighting for life after thief shot him 3 times in Lincoln Park

Chilling surveillance video captured shooting that left Dakotah Earley critically injured

ByMichelle Gallardo and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Monday, May 9, 2022
Young man fighting for life after thief shot him 3 times
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Dakotah Earley is fighting for his life after a thief attacked him in Lincoln Park, Chicago, shooting him, his brother said.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Dakotah Earley's brother spoke with ABC7 from his home in Atlanta on Sunday afternoon.

He said Dakotah is still in the ICU and doctors put his chances of survival at 50/50. And yet, he wanted to speak out to thank the outpouring of support he and his family have received from perfect strangers all over Chicago.

"Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. My family appreciates it. Just thank you," Dashawn said.

Dakotah moved to Chicago from Atlanta just six months ago. A passion for food led the recent culinary school graduate there and to a job at the Greater Chicago Food Depository. He is fighting for his life at Illinois Masonic Hospital nearly three days after being shot several times by an armed robber in Lincoln Park. Dashawn called the attack "downright disgusting."

WATCH | Man struggles with suspect before Lincoln Park shooting

"He decided to live with my grandma just to figure stuff out. He's 23. And being 23, you want to figure out what you've got going on, what you want to do in life," Dashawn said.

The robbery was caught on surveillance video. It shows the 23-year-old walking near Webster and Wayne Avenues around 3:00 a.m. on Friday when an armed man runs up to him. After engaging in a struggle over what appears to be Dakotah's phone, the man shot him three times.

"The first time I saw it, my stomach sank and my heart was in pieces," Dashawn said. "Watching that video, you're just at a loss for words because it's like, when you see it, it's just 'wow.' I can't believe they did that."

The violent robbery was one of at least eight that police believe to be connected. Each incident took place in Lakeview and Lincoln Park between May 4 and May 6.

For Dakotah's family, his mother especially, who has barely left his side at the hospital, the whole episode is simply unbelievable.

"In pieces," Dashawn said. "She's still just reeling over the fact that her son is fighting for his life right now."

Earley underwent two surgeries Friday and is reportedly fighting for his life. At last check, over $60,000 has been raised to help with his medical expenses.

While police continue to search for the offenders, who they believe to be two men working together, a community meeting is scheduled to take place with investigators from the 19th Police District on Monday via zoom.