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Chicago man shot, killed father for not allowing him to hold infant, police say

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CROWN POINT — A Chicago man was wanted Friday on charges he shot a Gary man to death Tuesday because the man and his girlfriend wouldn't allow the suspect to hold an infant.

Ray T. Dampier, 43, was charged Thursday with murder in the shooting death of 29-year-old Devante Brown in the 1700 block of West Fifth Avenue in Gary.

According to Lake Criminal Court records, Dampier's girlfriend was visiting with her relative, who had just had a baby, and she invited Dampier to look at the baby.

The relative didn't want Dampier to hold the baby, so Brown — the baby's father — took the baby from Dampier's girlfriend and gave the child to the mother, records state.

Dampier continued to talk with those gathered, asking several times how much the baby weighed, according to court documents. However, the child's mother would not speak to Dampier. 

Dampier then walked down to a parked car where Brown was seated and the two began speaking. A witness told police Brown got out of his car and swung toward Dampier, and the two began fighting.

After the fight ended, Dampier took his girlfriend's gun out of her purse or car and shot Brown three to five times, court records allege.

Brown fell to the ground and Dampier fled east on Fifth Avenue in a 2013 white Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, which was later recovered by Illinois State Police, Gary police Cmdr. Jack Hamady said. 

Brown was taken about 5:50 p.m. to Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus, where he told a detective "Ray," his girlfriend's relative's boyfriend, shot him because he would not allow Ray to hold his baby, records state.

He was pronounced dead about four hours later by hospital staff, according to the Lake County coroner's office.

Dampier is believed to be in Illinois, possibly in Chicago, Hamady said.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the U.S. Marshals Service Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force at 877-926-8332 or submit a tip online at USMS Tips.

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