Cook County prosecutors drop murder charges against mom, teen son in restaurant shooting

Cook County prosecutors drop murder charges against mom, teen son in restaurant shooting
AP Photo/Teresa Crawford

Just a few days after prosecutors in Cook County announced murder charges against a woman and her son for the fatal shooting of a man in a Chicago restaurant, officials have now dropped all charges against the pair, saying that “in light of emerging evidence” the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office “are unable to meet our burden of proof in the prosecution of these cases.”


The shooting was originally reported as a verbal dispute that ended in gunfire when the woman, identified as 35-year-old Carlisha Hood, texted her son and told him to bring her gun in the restaurant from their vehicle in the restaurant’s parking lot where he was sitting. Authorities say 32-year-old Jeremy Brown was shot by the teen in the restaurant, and then again after he stumbled outside. Rather than being the initial aggressors, however, it appears that surveillance footage shows Brown attacking Hood before her son came in to the restaurant and fired the shot.

The scene was captured on surveillance video, which showed Hood ordering food and her son opening fire both in the restaurant and the parking lot before the pair leave the scene. Additional footage started circulating on social media showing Brown repeatedly striking Hood prior to the shooting.

“If you say one more thing I’m going to knock you out,” Brown says in the video before striking Hood.

The footage ends with what sounds like a gunshot being fired as Brown continues punching Hood.

Hood and her son surrendered to police on Wednesday and were arrested by authorities.

They were both charged with first-degree murder and Hood faced an additional charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Prosecutors said Hood, who had no criminal background, also had a valid firearm owners identification card and a permit to carry a concealed weapon.


CWB Chicago reported on that “additional footage” over the weekend, which was apparently captured by another customer on their smartphone.

… the new video, apparently recorded on a bystander’s phone, shows Brown repeatedly threatening to knock Hood out, punching her once, stopping, then punching her two more times before a shot is heard.

Twitter user @heyFATabbot first posted the footage Saturday. While it shows Brown throwing punches and includes the sound of gunfire, it does not show Brown being shot:

“Lady! Get your food!” Brown yells as the clip begins.

Hood appears to tell Brown to get back in his car.

“Who? Get in the car?” Brown yells, balling up his right hand. “Get your food! If you say one more thing, I’m gonna knock you out.”

They continued to exchange words for a couple of seconds.

“I’m gonna knock you out,” Brown says as he lands a full-force punch on Hood, who is out of camera view.

“Say one more thing, I’m gonna knock you out,” Brown threatened before punching Hood two more times.

As the third punch is thrown, a gunshot is heard.

Based on that footage, it would appear that the 14-year old reasonably believed that his mother’s life was in danger, which helps to explain why prosecutors suddenly reversed course on the murder charges. But prosecutors had also alleged Hood tried to get her son to shoot Brown’s girlfriend, who was allegedly taunting Hood, and even tried to grab her gun from her son’s hand when he refused to pull the trigger. Were they wrong about that as well? If so, how did that false narrative get presented as fact by prosecutors?


This is a weird case, and the sudden reversal by prosecutors is the strangest twist yet, but one that one local legal analyst says is the correct, if belated call to make.

“You have the right to use deadly force to stop that force against another person, and that’s exactly what happened in this case, and that’s exactly why the state’s attorney’s office dropped this case today,” CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller said.

Miller said criminal charges, let alone murder charges, never should have been approved in this case.

“This goes beyond an injustice. Frankly, it’s a miscarriage of justice as to what happened to this woman and her son,” he said. “It’s a situation where either the charges should have been rejected, or at the very minimum they should have been continued for investigation, rather than just, you know, say, ‘Okay, murder charge. Send them to court.'”

Hood had been ordered held on a $3 million bond after she was charged last week. Her son was charged as a juvenile and was being held without bail before the charges were dropped. Both are now free.

Neither Hood nor her son had a previous criminal record.

I still want to know how and why the State’s Attorney’s office had originally concluded that Hood was the initial aggressor, as well as where their allegation that she demanded her son shoot Brown’s companion at the hot dog stand came from. The shooting of Jeremy Brown isn’t the only criminal act prosecutors and police laid out, and if neither Hood nor her son are facing any charges based on “emerging” evidence that was before them all along, both they and the public deserve answers about how authorities got it so wrong.


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