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Two men charged with robbing, killing Chicago father on his way to work

Two men charged with robbing, killing Chicago father on his way to work
Two men charged with robbing, killing Chicago father on his way to work 02:32

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Two men have been charged in the shooting death of a 24-year-old Chicago father who was robbed and killed on his way to work last month.

Divonte Calhoun, 32, of Gurnee, and Justin Redmond, 41, of Chicago, both have been charged with two counts of murder and one count of armed robbery in the shooting death of 24-year-old Zet Rodriguez-Lara on May 10 in the Dunning neighborhood.

Chicago Police Deputy Chief of Detectives Kevin Bruno said Rodriguez-Lara was walking down the 3900 block of North Pittsburgh Avenue on his way to work around 7 a.m. on May 10 when Calhoun walked up and announced a robbery, then shot him and fled.

Divonte Calhoun (left) and Justin Redmond (right) are charged in the murder and armed robbery of 24-year-old Zet Rodriguez-Lara. Chicago Police

Cell phone data and surveillance video led to charges

After the shooting, Calhoun got into a getaway car driven by Redmond, and the two later drove to a gas station in Gurnee.

Calhoun was arrested over the weekend immediately after the shooting but was released without charges. Sources said the Cook County State's Attorney's Office didn't have enough evidence to press charges at the time.

Bruno said Calhoun was re-arrested Sunday, and Redmond was arrested on Monday. Redmond had not been arrested before in connection to the shooting.

Charges were approved Monday night based on cell phone data and other forensics that took time to collect. Data from Calhoun's and Redmond's cell phones placed them at the scene of the crime at the time of the shooting.

Police also were able to gather surveillance video from the shooting and from the gas station in Gurnee, where Calhoun and Redmond drove after the shooting.

Bruno said surveillance video shows Bruno getting into the getaway car and later at the gas station wearing the same clothing as he had on at the time of the shooting.

Zet Rodriguez-Lara  GoFundMe

A police source said Rodriguez-Lara might have had some cash taken from him, but Bruno could not confirm whether any money was stolen. A bag that Rodriguez-Lara was carrying was left behind.

Police said the shooting was a random act of violence and that the suspects had no prior connection to Rodriguez-Lara.

At the time of the shooting, Calhoun was on parole for armed robbery, and Redmond was on parole for unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, according to Bruno.

Illinois Department of Corrections records show Calhoun also served time in prison for two other robbery convictions. Redmond also has past convictions on weapons and drug charges dating back to 2002.

Calhoun and Redmond were due to appear for a detention hearing on Tuesday.

Arrests made in connection with fatal shooting, robbing of Chicago father 02:05

"I'm so sorry that he didn't make it"  

Rodriguez-Lara was described as a great father to his 6-month-old daughter, a friend, a son, and a brother. His murder was a shock to a community that said Rodriguez-Lara was always a friendly face.

A neighbor, who spoke to CBS 2 after the shooting but asked her name not be revealed, tried to save his life by putting pressure on his injuries.

"I just sprung into action," she said.

She added she called 911 and "took my sweatshirt off that I was wearing and started to apply pressure immediately and waited for an ambulance to arrive. I just tried to interact with him and talk to him. Keep him awake."

The woman said Rodriguez-Lara told her he was walking to work. She later learned he died and has since been in touch with his family. She did not previously know him.

"I'm so sorry that he didn't make it, and I wish he would have, to see your children grow," she said, adding she was "trying to keep him alive for his kids."

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