by P. J. McNeal, The Chicago Times

CHICAGO – Marcus Starkey, 27, was arrested March 18 in St. Paul, Minnesota and extradited to Cook County to face charges for first degree murder of 11-year-old Ny’Andrea Dyer and attempted murder of an unnamed 18-year-old victim.  Dyer passed away on March 22.

When interrogated about the March 1 nighttime shootings, Starkey first denied involvement but later confessed to investigators he was targeting a customer at a Far South Side gas station as a result of being intoxicated and high.

The events of March 1 began when Starkey and an unnamed accomplice decided to venture into the streets in the vicinity of 150 W. 127th St.  Around 11pm, the two hoodlums donned masks as they approached the BP gas station at 127th and Wentworth.  It is unclear if they intended to rob the station or were just looking to cause trouble.

Meanwhile, an 18-year-old male pulled into the station and parked at a pump to refuel.  At the same time, 11-year-old Dyer and her mother sat in a parked car in the gas station lot.  As the 18-year-old exited his vehicle to pump gas he noticed two masked men approaching out of the darkness with one pointing a pistol in his direction.  Fearing he was going to be robbed the teen victim tried to enter the gas station only to find the doors locked.

Starkey, later identified as the shooter, pointed his weapon at the teen and began firing.  Caught in the open, the 18-year-old drew a weapon and returned fire.  Surveillance video revealed the teen only fired after fired upon.  According to investigators, the teen’s discharging of his weapon did not cause the death of Dyer.

The shootout with Starkey ended with a teen wounded several times and Starkey, along with his accomplice, escaping into the night.  Leaving a wounded teenager down on the ground, Starkey also left behind a wounded Dyer who was shot in the face and left with a severed spine.  Both victims were taken to local hospitals.  One victim would survive while Dyer would pass away March 22.

According to investigators, Starkey and his accomplice ran into the night in search of Starkey’s car parked in a nearby alley, either north or west of the gas station.  Starkey found that his getaway car would not start, prompting both hoodlums to go their own way.  Starkey would approach and offer $900 to two Metra workers to drive him out of the area after he claimed he had been robbed.  The Metra workers wisely declined to help.  However, the Metra facility captured clear images of Starkey that led to his identification as the shooter.

While fleeing his crime, the killer Starkey had also shed a dark colored coat and a .45-caliber Springfield handgun, which matched shell casings found at the crime scene.  Starkey would be identified and arrested in Minnesota 17 days after the shootings.

When brought before Cook County Judge John F. Lyke, Starkey’s “intoxication and high” defense was quickly exposed as a cowardly act that led to the wounding of a teenager and the tragic death of an 11-year-old girl sitting in a parked car with her mother.

The wounded 18-year-old victim was later charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon; however, his firearm could not be located by investigators.

The killer Starkey was ordered held without bail and is expected back in court April 22.

Photo – Chicago Police