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Man who killed worker at Original Maxwell Street over "disrespect" charged with murder

Cook County prosecutors told the court Thursday that a man shot and killed an employee working the service window at the Original Maxwell Street restaurant on the city's west side because he felt he was "disrespected".

Joseph Freeman, 47, of Bellwood, Illinois, was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of an Original Maxwell Street employee working the service window last Friday.

CHICAGO - Cook County prosecutors told the court Thursday that a man, now charged with murder, shot and killed an employee working the service window at the Original Maxwell Street restaurant on the city's west side because he felt he was "disrespected" after an argument with the employee in the early morning hours last Friday, July 22.

As we originally reported, the incident happened around 3:10 a.m. early Friday morning on July 22 on the 3800 block of W. Harrison at the Original Maxwell Street on the city's west side. More details were revealed in court Thursday.[1]

Cook County prosecutors alleged that Joseph Freeman, 47, of the 400 block of W. 23rd Avenue in Bellwood, Illinois got into an argument with 30-year-old Jose Adalid Celis Gonzalez who was working the overnight service window at the Original Maxwell Street stand. During the argument, Freeman allegedly said he’d come back with a gun and “shoot up the place,” prosecutors said.

Apparently there was an off-duty police officer in line at the restaurant at the time and, after Freeman made a “gun gesture” with his hand, the off-duty officer calmed Freeman down. A person with the off-duty officer then walked Freeman back to his car, which he entered without incident and drove away.

But Freeman did indeed come back.

Prosecutors said surveillance video from the restaurant that morning shows Freeman return to the Original Maxwell Street 20 minutes later. He returns in the same car and he returns wearing the same clothing.

Freeman approaches the window and reaches inside with a handgun, firing three shots. At least one of the shots struck Gonzalez in the face.

Responding officers tried to rush Gonzalez to Mount Sinai Hospital for treatment but he died from his injuries shortly after.

Freeman's vehicle was captured on additional surveillance cameras in the vicinity.

Prosecutors also told the court that the day after, Freeman messaged a long-time friend who's an Illinois State Police trooper. Freeman's message suggested he had to talk to his ISP friend in-person but the two never met.

Chicago Police showed the Trooper videos of the murder and identified Freeman.

Freeman turned himself into police on Tuesday. He was held without bail on a single count of murder in the first degree.

This Original Maxwell Street location is the same location where, back in March of this year, two Chicago police officers were shot and wounded while waiting in line for their food.[2]


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Notes & References


  1. Chicago Journal. “Restaurant Employee Shot and Killed While Working Service Window.” Chicago Journal. Chicago Journal, July 22, 2022. https://www.chicagojournal.com/restaurant-employee-shot-and-killed-while-working-service-window/. ↩︎

  2. Chicago Journal. “Two Chicago Police Officers Wounded in Shooting, Suspect in Custody.” Chicago Journal. Chicago Journal, March 4, 2022. https://www.chicagojournal.com/two-chicago-police-officers-wounded-in-shooting-suspect-in-custody/. ↩︎

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