Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Vernon Blair Jr. accused of shooting and killing Maurice Clark after smoking 'a blunt'

Posted By on Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Vernon Blair allegedly fired an automatic rifle at a group of men.
  • Vernon Blair allegedly fired an automatic rifle at a group of men.
On May 10, the night that Maurice Clark was gunned down at 67th and Monroe, Vernon Blair Jr. allegedly warned a group of young men that he was going to go into his apartment to "smoke a blunt" and when he came back, he'd have his "fully thing."

A fully thing is apparently slang for a fully automatic weapon. Blair apparently kept his word. Witnesses saw him sitting on the porch of an apartment building a short time later. The blunt must not have had a calming effect because Blair is accused of pulling an assault rifle from his pants and firing in the direction of the group of young men who were walking north near 66th and Askew.

Witnesses told police that the 24-year-old Clark, who wasn't walking with the men, was shot in the back while walking south on the opposite side of the street.

Detectives would later find 9 mm and .380-caliber shell casings in the street where the men were walking. Some of the men admitted returning fire as they ran for cover. They also found shell casings near the front steps of the apartment building with the addresses 6634 and 6640 Monroe. Inside, they recovered an SKS rifle, which was wrapped in a garbage bag and hidden by a furnace and hot-water heater in the building's basement.

Three witnesses picked Blair out of a police lineup as the gunman.

Another witness claimed that he and Blair were at a relative's apartment in the building. Blair allegedly went downstairs to wait for a woman. Five minutes later, the witness heard gunshots and saw a man known as "Markie-D" shooting toward the building. Blair ran into the building and told the witness that he was returning fire.

Blair, 19, is charged with second-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon and armed criminal action. Prosecutors are asking for a $250,000 cash bond.


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