An 18-year-old man who has three felony cases pending in juvenile court — two for illegal gun possession and one for armed carjacking — stabbed and robbed a beloved bartender who was walking home in Hyde Park last month, prosecutors said.

Keante McShan is the eighth person charged with killing or shooting — or trying to shoot or kill — someone in Chicago this year while awaiting trial for a felony.

Keante McShan and Diego Damis | CPD; Provided

Prosecutors said Diego Damis, 41, was walking home after his shift at The Cove Lounge, 1750 East 55th, when McShan began following him around 5 a.m. on February 25.

Surveillance video allegedly showed McShan checking parked car doors to see if they were unlocked and entering a car before he spotted Damis.

On the 4900 block of South Greenwood, McShan stabbed Damis repeatedly and took his wallet, cash, and bank card, prosecutors said. Video showed Damis kneeling on grass next to the sidewalk as the attacker ran away. Damis fell backward and remained there until a passerby discovered him more than an hour later and called for help.

He was pronounced dead from multiple stab wounds to his chest, abdomen, and arm.

Meanwhile, surveillance video allegedly showed McShan returned to checking car doors after the murder as he left the area. Prosecutors said he used Damis’ bank card to buy a box of Newport cigarettes at a gas station shortly after the crime. The purchase was video recorded.

Investigators used a series of video recordings to track the killer to an apartment building on the South Side. They searched the address in a law enforcement database and learned that McShan lived there and was wanted on juvenile warrants. Detectives also determined that photos and videos of McShan from previous incidents were consistent with the person who killed Damis, prosecutors said.

Police set up surveillance on the apartment building Friday and arrested McShan as he walked out of the complex while wearing many of the same unique clothing items that the attacker wore, including a multi-color hoodie, prosecutors said.

Officers recovered additional clothing associated with the killer, a knife, and other evidence, including Damis’ wallet, debit card, and Ventra card from McShan’s apartment, prosecutors said.

McShan’s pending felony juvenile cases include a vehicular hijacking and unlawful use of a weapon case from last year, another gun and theft case from 2020, and yet another gun case from 2020, according to prosecutors.

His public defender said he has a month-old baby who was born premature and is currently hospitalized. McShan went to school through the eighth grade and has worked at a carwash for a month, the attorney said.

McShan is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree murder during the commission of a forcible felony, and armed robbery.

Judge Kelly McCarthy granted the state’s request to hold McShan without bail.

The “not horrible” series

This report continues our coverage of individuals who have been accused of murder, attempted murder, or shooting firearms toward people while on bond for a pending felony case. CWBChicago began our series of reports in November 2019 after Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans publicly stated, “we haven’t had any horrible incidents occur” under the court’s bond reform initiative.

The actual number of murders and shootings committed by people on felony bail is undoubtedly much higher than the numbers seen here. Since 2017, CPD has made arrests in just 4% of shootings and 31% of murders, according to the city’s data. You can support CWBChicago’s work by becoming a subscriber today.

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