Autopsy today on triple homicide suspect found dead after police standoff
Original Article Published on May 13, 2016.
Jonathan Ford had few words for the man suspected of killing three members of his family. “Turn yourself in. Let it go.”
As he spoke Thursday, the suspect was holed up in a home on the Far South Side, surrounded by police SWAT teams. He was not letting go.
He leaned out a window and exchanged gunfire with officers around 9:30 a.m., five hours into the standoff, according to police. Around noon, the voice of the suspect’s mother blared from a bullhorn: “I’m outside. Please come out. I love you. I love you, son.”
Police lobbed tear gas canisters into the home and, still not seeing or hearing anything, fired stun grenades. They entered the home shortly after 3 p.m. and found the 31-year-old suspect, Kevin Robinson, dead of a gunshot wound, according to Anthony Guglielmi, the top police spokesman.
Police said it appeared Robinson shot himself, but were waiting for a final determination from an autopsy Friday.
Police believe Robinson fatally shot his girlfriend, Makeesha Starks, 26, her stepfather, Jerome Wright, 50, and another relative, Kiara Kinard, 26, in their home in the 1500 block of West 71st Street about 11:20 p.m. Wednesday.
He fled to a home in the 10300 block of South Union Avenue. Speaking to reporters outside the home after the standoff ended, police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters Robinson was a felon who was convicted of attempted murder, armed robbery and aggravated battery.
Johnson said Robinson served under two years of an eight-year sentence for armed robbery highlights a problem with the criminal justice system in Illinois and the need for stricter sentencing guidelines.
“We have too many guns in Chicago and too many people willing to use those guns,” said Johnson, flanked by other command staff, as he stood in the street near 104th Street and Union. “If anybody thinks being a police officer is easy, they’ve never done it. This is a challenging job.”
The standoff began around 4:30 a.m. when another woman with whom Robinson had a relationship called the police when he was at her home, Guglielmi said. The two have a child together, Guglielmi said, but he couldn’t say why she called police.
According to court records, Starks requested a protection order against Robinson on Dec. 30, 2014. A judge granted it, but on Jan. 21, 2015, the order was removed at Starks’ request.
Robinson is believed to have opened fire shortly after dropping Starks at the home, police said.
He walked into the house and put a gun to his head, threatening to kill himself, police said. The girlfriend’s mother, stepfather and another woman were in the house, and Robinson asked them about his girlfriend, who was in the basement with several children, police said.
One of those children, about 7 years old, belongs to Robinson and his girlfriend, police said.
Robinson made Starks, and possibly the children, come upstairs before the woman’s parents ran from the home, police said. At some point, he opened fire in the house, killing Starks and badly wounding Kinard, police said.
Starks was shot in the head and died at the scene, while Kinard died later at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn after being shot in the back, police said.
The parents ran off in opposite directions along 71st, police said. Robinson chased after Wright and shot him in the head, killing him, police said. He then got in a car and fled.
The girlfriend’s mother, who escaped unharmed, paced barefoot in the rain at 71st and Laflin streets late Wednesday. She kept asking about her 50-year-old husband, apparently not seeing his body under a sheet across 71st.
“Oh my God,” she cried, clasping her heads around her head. “Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God.”
The woman, in a white T-shirt and dark pants, told police that her daughter was the one who was shot in the head. “He killed my baby,” the woman repeated, louder and louder. “He killed my baby. He killed my baby.”
A man in all black with a black cap walked up and hugged the woman, who continued crying. “They shot my baby,” the woman said. “I need to find my husband. I need to find my husband.”
His body was hidden by a white car parked across the street.
Soon there were about a dozen family members and friends at the scene.
“They shot my baby’s brains out,” the woman wailed. “They shot my baby’s brains out.”
One relative, a man in a black hoodie, started sobbing after he came up to the woman and wrapped her in a tight hug. “Momma, don’t say it,” he yelled. “Momma, don’t say it.”
He fell to his knees at the woman’s feet and continued sobbing. His head touched the ground, and he slammed the asphalt several times with his fists.
“No, no, no,” the man cried, trembling.
After a few moments, the man stood and threw his cellphone to the ground.
“I can’t believe he did this!” another man yelled. “I can’t believe it.”
A woman in a yellow jacket walked up with three young children.
She stopped near the mother and started screaming after she heard the news. She said she was a twin sister of Starks. The children, two girls and a boy, also started screaming and crying.
One of the men picked up the smallest child, a girl, about 5, in a pink jacket, and started walking away with the other two children.
“(The children) don’t need to see this,” said Angel Parks, a neighbor. “Go through the alley.”
Parks said her mother, who lives across the street, called her after hearing gunshots. “It’s past horrible,” Parks said. “I’m just trying to be here to support them.”
The sobbing stopped for awhile but around 1 a.m., the mother started crying again. “I need to go over there,” the woman pleaded with police. “Let me go. Let me go.”
A moment later, she apparently got word that not only her daughter died, but her husband as well.
“They killed my baby and my husband,” she yelled in horror.
She bolted east on 71st, throwing up her hands as family members followed. “This can’t be real,” she cried. “This isn’t happening.”
About half an hour later, the rain started. Some relatives went to their cars, others pulled out umbrellas.
One man started yelling over the phone while standing in the middle of 71st. His voice was muffled by the rain. “What’s going on with my sister?” he yelled. “Why don’t you tell me what’s wrong with my sister?”
His sister was apparently Kinard, who died at Christ hospital. Hearing the news, he let dropped the phone on the wet ground and laid on his back in the middle of the street, sobbing in the rain.
Hours later, SWAT teams surrounded the home in the 10300 block of South Union, police said.
“There was a lot of love in this family. It’s a very, very tragic and sad case,” Ford said. “This is an outsider who did this. It’s not a violent family, it’s a very loving family.
“I can’t speak highly enough of them. They were great, hard working mothers,” he continued. “Jerome was a man’s man who cooked, cleaned, worked hard. He didn’t deserve it at all. He deserved to grow old to a real old age.”
Robinson’s sister claimed her brother was trying to surrender when police shot him.
“That boy didn’t do nothing to deserve (it),” the sister said. “He tried to surrender and they shot at him like seven times when he put his hands in the air and told them he surrendered and they still killed him.”
Eric Russell, a Robinson family spokesman, said Thursday afternoon the family “doesn’t buy the narrative” and have already sought legal counsel.
“The family is of the opinion that every avenue was not given for a peaceful surrender.”
Chicago Tribune’s Carlos Sadovi and Grace Wong contributed.
Chicago Tribune’s Carlos Sadovi and Grace Wong contributed.