Man charged in fatal shooting of Northwestern PhD student Shane Colombo in Rogers Park

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A man has been charged in the death of a Northwestern University PhD student who was caught in a crossfire in the Rogers Park neighborhood nearly a year ago.

On September 2, 2018, Shane Colombo was walking along Clark Street near Howard after buying groceries when he was shot and killed. The 25-year-old graduate student, an apparent unintended target of the gunman, was wounded in the chest, back and wrist and transported to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, where he was pronounced dead.

Diante Speed, 20, is facing a first-degree murder charge after prosecutors allege that a video shows him chasing an unknown man with a gun on the night Colombo was killed. That same video also shows Colombo falling to the ground.

Speed was arrested Tuesday afternoon and is being held without bond.

Despite prosecutors believing there were multiple witnesses to to Rogers Park shooting, it took a weapon being retrieved from a gun arrest in South Holland to trace Speed to the murder scene.

Prosecutors said people only started talking after the ballistic evidence was a match.

"The unknown male who was the intended target fled from the defendant as he was firing," said James Murphy, Cook County Assistant State's Attorney. "There were two other witnesses in the Bank of America parking lot, who observed the victim get shot by the defendant and then collapse."

Prosecutors allege that Speed, of Chicago, confessed to holding a gun, but he denied firing the weapon.

Colombo was a native of Sun City, California, who was due to start a psychology Ph.D. program at Northwestern University last fall. His family offered a $2,000 reward for information identifying the shooter.

Victim advocate Andrew Holmes has been in touch with Colombo's mother in California.

"She is totally hurt, she can barely talk," Homes said. "Just doing a lot of crying."

RELATED: Slain Northwestern student's family offers $2,000 reward

Colombo was engaged and had moved to the area to be with his fiance.

ABC 7 reached out to Colombo's partner but hasn't yet heard back from him.

Speed is due back in court August 27.
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.