As a member of Chicago’s Evans Mob gang faction, Pierre Robinson was devoted to an “almost unimaginable” cycle of gun violence, in which murder begets murder, and shootings are followed by taunts on social media, vows of revenge and more shootings, a federal judge said. Monday
“It’s a tragedy that there are people in our communities who grow up thinking this is normal life, who accept this kind of life and buy into it,” said U.S. District Judge John Tharp.
That cycle officially ended for Robinson moments later, when Tharp sentenced him to mandatory life in prison for the December 2014 slaying of 23-year-old Glenn Houston at a South Side convenience store — allegedly in retaliation for the killing of Robinson’s fellow gang member two. years earlier, a shooting Houston had nothing to do with.
Houston entered the store at 79th Street and Eberhart Avenue when he held the door open for Robinson as he exited, prosecutors said. Robinson returned seconds later and shot Houston as he stood between displays of Fritos and candy near the register, while a mother and her young daughter ducked for cover.
“This was a cold-blooded, premeditated, calculated – but nonetheless senseless – murder, in the aftermath of which Mr. Robinson showed no remorse,” Tharp said in sentencing Robinson, who was convicted by a jury last year of murder for the benefit of racketeering. “On the contrary, the trial record revealed repeated post-murder taunts to rival gangs, the antithesis of remorse. … It was not enough for Mr. Robinson to kill Mr. Houston, he continued to pour salt in the wound.”
In addition to Houston’s murder, Tharp found Robinson responsible for another revenge shooting a few months later that severely wounded gang rival Deshawn Danzler and killed an innocent bystander, Hammood Dawoudi, 23, in the hallway of the apartment building they shared.
Robinson was never charged in that shooting because Danzler refused to identify him to a grand jury investigating the Evans Mob gang, the Tribune has reported.
But Tharp said there was plenty of other evidence that Robinson was responsible, including undercover footage of Danzler telling her brother that Robinson was the gunman, as well as an eyewitness who said she saw Robinson run from the scene.
Tharp said that while Robinson was not charged with Dawoudi’s killing and it had no official bearing on his sentence, the facts deserve to see the light of day.
Before the sentencing, two of Houston’s sisters spoke in court about the loss of their brother, the only boy in the family, who left behind five nieces and nephews.
“It really panics me to think about it, to think about what I’m going to say or even how I’m going to feel,” one of the sisters, Amelia Houston, said through sobs. “We shouldn’t be here.”
The other sister, Ikiah Houston, said it saddened her to think her children will never know their uncle, to “listen to him talk and smile, just be the little brother he’s always been.”
“I just want to see him rest in peace now,” she said.
Dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit, Robinson sat slumped at the defense table as the sisters spoke. When the judge later asked him if he wanted to make a statement, he declined.
At the time he was killed, Houston was recovering from being shot and critically wounded at the same intersection months earlier, according to a Tribune story detailing the devastating cycle of gang violence on Chicago’s South Side.
After one of Houston’s friends was killed in 2013, someone wrote a chilling warning in red marker on the wall of a perfume store at 79th and Eberhart. “You next Glenn,” the message said.
After he was shot in the summer of 2014, Houston spent months in the hospital. His grandmother told the Tribune that the day Houston was discharged, he went right back to the streets.
Robinson was still serving a 33-month sentence on a federal gun conviction when he was indicted in Houston’s murder in November 2018 as part of a larger investigation into the Evans Mob gang, a faction of the Gangster Disciples that prosecutors alleged used. murders, assaults and other acts of violence to protect the territory and increase its status on social media.
According to court documents, the day Houston was killed was the birthday of one of Robinson’s gang members who was killed in 2012, and Robinson posted on social media that he was going out looking for “opps” or rivals to shoot.
Just after 3 p.m., Robinson walked into the Eberhart Food Store, where a mother was ordering a sandwich for her 8-year-old daughter, and walked around the store before walking toward the door, where Houston entered, prosecutors said.
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Houston, who went by the nickname “G-Mac,” held the door open for Robinson, who briefly exited before pulling his shirt up over the lower half of his face and reentering the store, where he shot Houston three times with a revolver, according to the prosecution.
“When the shots rang out, the mother and her child asked an employee who was making her sandwich if they could go somewhere and hide,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Albert Berry wrote in a recent filing. “They ended up hiding in the bathroom. The employee who told the woman and her child to go into the bathroom kept a low profile until the shooting was over.”
According to an FBI search warrant affidavit in Robinson’s case, on Christmas Day 2014 — two days after Houston’s murder — Robinson posted a photo of a Ruger semi-automatic handgun and a message that read: “LOOK MAN I GOT A RUGGER ON ME NOW I GOT LIKE FOUR BABY MARES KNOW WHAT I MEAN??? I FEEL LIKE OSAMA MORF—— BIN LADEN.”
In another video posted on social media on October 7, 2015, captioned “#BackDownMemoryLane No Opps,” Robinson “reminisced” about the murder while standing in front of the Eberhart store while saying, “Gang, gang, gang, Guys gang” and shouted “Mac sauce, hot and spicy,” according to court records.
Robinson also posted messages about “smoking on G-Mac” and about G-Mac “being cross, which is slang that disrespects the dead person,” Berry wrote.
“Life is the only possible sentence is well deserved here,” Berry said Monday.