Hit-and-run that killed 3 outside gay bar was 'intentional', cops hint at possibility of hate crime

The collision occurred when the big group was ostensibly engaged in an argument on Sunday morning

Hit-and-run that killed 3 outside gay bar was 'intentional', cops hint at possibility of hate crime
A group of men is seen arguing when a vehicle crashes into them (@SmTrumpsnew/Twitter)
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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: On Sunday, August 14, an incident saw three men, who were a part of a group arguing, killed after being hit by a speeding vehicle and sent flying up in the air. Chicago police stated on August 15, Monday, that they believed the hit-and-run - that took place just outside a gay bar - was a premeditated assault. They added that it was still too soon to determine if it was a hate crime or not.

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The three black men were identified as 25-year-old Donald Huey, 23- year-old Jaylen Ausley, and 27-year-old Devonta Vivetter. They were standing in a crowd in front of Jeffrey Pub on the South Side on Sunday at 5.00 am when a vehicle slammed into them at a fast pace, flinging them off in the air. The collision occurred when the big group ostensibly engaged in an argument. A fourth individual, who was also part of the group, sustained injuries.

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Detective Chief Brendan Deenihan indicated that the victims' race or sexual orientation may have been targeted, although it's too early to say. "It appears to be intentional," the Chief said. "We don't have any evidence to support that somebody was trying to harm these individuals based because of their race, religion, etc. That can change once we get more witnesses and a suspect in."

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Deenihan said that although the automobile was found four blocks away from the scene of the accident, the perpetrator was still at large. "You can't charge a car with a crime, obviously," the chief said, asking the public for assistance. "We need to know who the driver was. There were a lot of people out there, a lot of people that were inside the bar prior to this occurring. And we definitely believe that there's individuals who actually want to give us that information to name a suspect."

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The three men, who died in the horrible collision, have received homage from various loved ones. Ausley had recently graduated from the University of Michigan and had moved back to the South Side to help underprivileged youth at the Gary Comer Youth Center. The center offers courses for career planning, job training, and tutoring. In a statement, Project Love Chicago, an initiative for job training skills and programs for the black community, said: "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. We thank you all for your kind words to remind us of the impact he made in such a short time. Jaylen was a light in any room, and his infectious energy will be missed." They further added, "He was an outstanding young man that had so much ambition, character, humility, love and compassion for his community. He was making great strides as a leader in his community. He had so much ahead of him and so much planned for the future."

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Donald Huey's sister Charna Riley reported that her brother had recently thrown light on his intentions to return to the Chicago region to find employment at a casino. Huey was working as a receptionist of a posh condo complex while residing in Los Angeles. He liked designing clothing and dressing people, according to his sister's statement to The Chicago Sun-Times. "He'd tell me this doesn't look right, that doesn't stand out enough. He would get on me, and that's what I'll remember," said Riley.

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In an interview with ABC 7, Vivetter's cousin Anita expressed how devastated his family was. "I've been crying all day. It's just - I can't believe it. He didn't deserve it. And for you to keep going like... This is ridiculous!" she said.

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The gay bar also expressed how sorry they were about the tragedy. The managers of Jeffrey Pub said, "Our hearts are heavy this morning that such a tragic event has occurred. And to those that lost a loved one or friend we stand with you. We always encourage everyone to leave and go to your vehicles right away to make it home safe."

A dash camera video captured the incident, which appeared to be a confrontation between a number of individuals who were standing in the roadway prior to the crash. Before the car is spotted, its motor can be heard revving as it barrels at the crowd. One man, wearing a blue hoodie, is thrown towards the middle of the road, where he is then seen lying and writhing. The other three men are launched into the air and propelled swiftly several feet above.

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The victims were declared dead upon arrival at the University of Chicago hospital. The other surviving victim was brought to Stroger hospital, but it was unclear what state he was in. According to police, there might have been another victim who was hit and transported to the hospital in a personal car. 

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