'Shockingly violent': Three charged in DuPage home invasions

Three suspects are behind bars facing attempted murder and other charges stemming from a pair of violent home invasions last weekend in Lombard and Wheaton.

The trio is charged in two break-ins about 20 minutes apart early Aug, 23 that left two men with gunshot wounds, including one of the suspects, and a 74-year-old grandmother injured after she was struck in the face while trying to protect her granddaughter, authorities said.

"The conduct alleged in these charges is shockingly violent," DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said during a news conference Sunday to announce the arrests. "It demonstrates a complete disregard for our laws and human life."

Charged with attempted murder, home invasion and aggravated battery with a firearm are Malik Pitts, 22, of the 2400 block of West Cermak Road in Broadview; Isaiah Johnson, 21, of the 12000 block of South Vincennes Road in Blue Island; and Keytori Jackson, 22, of the 2400 block of West Cermak Road in Broadview.

All three made initial appearances Sunday morning in DuPage County court. Pitts and Johnson were ordered held in the county jail without bail. Jackson is being held on $500,000 bail.

Authorities say the events of last weekend began to unfold shortly after 5 a.m. Aug, 23, when a noise woke a Wheaton family. Two adults stepped outside the home to the investigate and discovered chairs and patio furniture stacked up beneath a window.

The couple were then confronted by two men later identified as Pitts and Johnson, who was armed with a gun, Berlin said. While Johnson demanded money, Berlin said, Pitts went inside the home and into a bedroom where two young girls were sleeping.

He attempted to pull down one of the girls' covers and clothing, but her 74-year-old grandmother intervened, Berlin said. She was struck in the face by Pitts, who then fled the home with Johnson and sped off in a stolen vehicle driven by Jackson, Berlin added.

About 20 minutes later, authorities said, a Lombard man was awakened his living room by two men demanding money. When the man said he didn't have money and suggested the men had the wrong house, one of the men went upstairs, pulled a teenage daughter from her room and forced her into the basement, where he demanded she undress, Berlin said.

The daughter refused and was able to flee the home after a struggle, Berlin said. When the suspects either chased after her or fled, the male resident and Pitts got into a struggle outside, he said.

Johnson came up behind them and shot the homeowner, Berlin said, sending the bullet through the man and into Pitts. Police described the homeowner's injuries as nonlife-threatening.

The suspects again fled in a vehicle driven by Jackson, Berlin said, but blood was left behind at the scene. By Thursday, Berlin said, DNA testing of the blood identified Pitts, who was arrested Friday in Broadview. Jackson also was arrested Friday, and Johnson was captured Saturday, Berlin said.

Berlin credited the work of the Lombard and Wheaton police departments and the forensic testing by the DuPage County sheriff's office lab for the arrests.

"These charges and no bond orders should send a loud and clear message to would be criminals that if they commit a crime in DuPage County, they will be arrested, they will be charged and they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," he said.

Berlin noted that Pitts already was wanted on a Cook County warrant alleging he removed an electronic monitoring bracelet, and that Johnson told authorities he was wearing a monitoring bracelet as a condition of a probation sentence in a possession of a stolen vehicle case.

The next scheduled court appearance for the defendants is a Sept. 28 arraignment in front of Judge Alex McGimpsey.

Malik Pitts
Isaiah Johnson
Keytori Jackson
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