Man charged with fatally shooting childhood friend in Chicago

An Austin man was ordered held without bail Wednesday for allegedly shooting his 27-year-old friend to death earlier this month in the West Side neighborhood.

Denzel Ollison, 26, was charged with first-degree murder for the Nov. 4 shooting of Mitchel Barber, according to Cook County prosectors.

Ollison and Barber were childhood friends and neighbors, prosectors said, and on the day of the shooting the pair were together at Barber’s family’s home in the 5800 block of West Superior Street.

Barber’s aunt heard the two men chatting about a girl on the front porch of the home, then minutes later heard a gunshot, prosectors said. Barber stumbled into the house, walked upstairs and collapsed. He was rushed to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, where he died.

A 9mm shell casing and live round were recovered on the front porch of the home, along with Barber’s phone.

The medical examiner’s noted that Barber’s injury was consistent with a gun shot from three or more feet away, not at close range, according to prosecutors.

A witness, sitting in her car during the incident, heard the gunshot and saw a man in a red hooded sweatshirt jump down from the front porch and run east, then north to the back of the home, prosecutors said.

Barber’s family told detectives Ollison had a quiet, respectful disposition and was behaving as usual at their home the day of the shooting.

When detectives arrived at the scene, Ollison’s mother told them her son went to West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park about 12:10 p.m. for a bad experience with drugs, prosecutors said. His toxicology reports would later come back negative for everything besides alcohol and marijuana.

Ollison was evaluated at Norwegian Memorial Hospital, where he reportedly said that he had experienced hallucinations and suicidal ideations and that there were spirits telling him to kill himself, prosecutors said. He also told medical officials about a recent altercation with a friend where a gun went off and the friend was injured.

A search warrant was later conducted at Ollison’s home and while no gun was recovered, detectives did find two red hooded sweatshirts, prosectors said.

Records show Ollison purchased a 9mm handgun in May and has a valid FOID card, prosectors said. He has no other criminal history.

Ollison is expected back in court Dec. 14.