Hit and run outside gay bar that killed three was ‘intentional’, police believe

Dash cam footage of the hit-and-run outside a Chicago gay bar

An “evil” hit-and-run that killed three Black men outside a Chicago gay bar appears to have been an intentional attack, police have said.

In the early hours of Sunday morning (14 August), a vehicle ploughed into a group of men standing outside Jeffrey Pub in Chicago’s South Shore, killing three and injuring at least one other person.

The men killed have been named as Donald Huey, 25, Jaylen Ausley, 23, and Devonta Vivetter, 27.

Dashcam footage from a nearby car captured the horrific incident, and shows a group of men appearing to argue, before a saloon car hit them sending several people flying.

All three men were pronounced dead on arrival at University of Chicago hospital. One survivor was taken to hospital by emergency services, and police believe there may have been another injured person who was taken to hospital separately.

The driver is still on the run, although the car believed to have been used in the attack has been located, and authorities are appealing to the public for information.

Police believe the attack was intentional, but cannot yet say whether it was a hate crime based on the victims’ race or sexual orientation.

Brendan Deenihan, chief of detectives with Chicago Police, said in a statement: “It is not being investigated as a hate crime at this time. We don’t have any evidence to support that somebody was trying to harm these individuals because of their race, religion, etc, at this time, because we don’t have a suspect in custody and we don’t have any information that somebody stated that.

“That can change once we get more witnesses and a suspect in. Everything can change based upon those statements.”

Jeffrey Pub is one of Chicago’s longest-running gay bars, and Victoria Kirby York, deputy executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition in Washington, is calling for the incident to be investigated as an LGBTQ+ hate crime.

Kirby York told ABC7: “Law enforcement often are resistant to filing hate crimes charges because there’s a very high burden of proof that has to be met. That goes into intent, motive, etc.”

She said the person who slaughtered 49 people at Pulse nightclub visited the venue several times before the massacre, adding: “I was there in the aftermath of that attack. And so what we know is that often people will stake out our clubs for various purposes.”

Hit-and-run victim Jaylen Ausley worked at a Chicago youth centre, and the team at Project Love Chicago, which works to bridge the racial wealth gap in the city, described him as “an outstanding young man that had so much ambition, character, humility, love, and compassion for his community”.

“Many of the kids Jaylen worked with have reached out to express their gratitude and appreciation for Jaylen’s willingness to be a positive mentor in their lives,” they added.

Tawauna Walker, aunt of victim Donald Huey, described the attack “evil in its worst form”, in a statement to the Chicago Sun Times.

Anyone with information on the incident is encouraged to contact Chicago Police detectives on (312) 747-8380 or submit an anonymous tip at cpdtip.com.