Sheriff's officer killed armed robber, 16, in self-defense; claimed accomplice, 17, faces murder rap

Three days after authorities said an off-duty sheriff’s officer acted with exceptional bravery and in self-defense when shooting to death a 16-year-old during an armed robbery at a Chicago gas station that was captured on surveillance cameras, an alleged teen accomplice was charged with murder.

Devonte Graham, 17, is being held in lieu of $1 million bail in the Monday night slaying of Deonta Mackey, 16, who was pronounced dead at the scene. Graham is charged under an accomplice theory of liability, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. When a victim or a suspect dies during the course of a felony, a claimed accomplice of the perpetrator can be charged with the homicide.

An earlier CBS Chicago story reports on the robbery and links to a CBS News video that includes footage from the surveillance camera. Another CBS Chicago story reports on the case against Graham.

The surveillance footage clearly shows an individual, identified by authorities as Mackey, approaching the Cook County sheriff’s sergeant with a pointed pistol held at arm’s length as the unidentified victim pumped gas. The sergeant initially handed over something (variously reported as money or his wallet), as two other individuals entered the frame. Then, according to CBS News, the sergeant handed over a gun when it was demanded by the robbers. It is not clear from news reports whether the gun was his service weapon.

As one of the three individuals went through the glove box of the sergeant’s vehicle, the sergeant got the drop on Mackey, reaching around his waistband for what CBS News describes as his own gun and shooting Mackey fatally in the head. The two other suspects fled as the sergeant called police.

Graham was identified as a suspect after numerous tips to police that he had posted photos of himself on Facebook with a gun. A court filing says it appears to be the same 9 mm pistol used in the robbery, according to Chicago Redeye.

Attorney Donna Rotunno represents Graham. She says the case against him is largely circumstantial, the Associated Press reports.

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