ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford Police officers say they were able to identify Damarius Nelson, 27, as the suspect in an attempted murder by his distinctive underwear after his pants allegedly fell down as he fled from the scene.
According to police, at 7:36 p.m. on Thursday night, officers were called to the Mart Westside Shop, at 937 School Street, for reports of a shooting. Police found shell casings at the scene and took two men into custody for interviews.
A short time later, at 7:49 p.m., police were called to 15th Street and Woodruff Avenue, where a shooting victim was said to be located, but when they arrived, no one was there.
However, Nelson reportedly arrived at Swedish American Hospital, suffering from a gunshot wound and using an alias. He had been shot in the upper right thigh, according to the probable cause statement.
According to police, Nelson told officers he and his fiance had been walking on 15th Street when he was robbed and a suspect shot him, but reportedly could not give more detailed information on the alleged crime.
Detectives watched surveillance video from the Mart Westside Shop shooting and saw a man get out of a Lexus SUV and go into the store. When he left the store, the man walked toward three men standing near a Chevrolet Suburban in the parking lot, pulled a gun from his waistband, and started shooting at them.
A shootout occurred between the three men and the suspect, with the suspect being shot in the leg. Police said as the suspect got into the passenger seat of the Lexus, his pants had fallen down enough to see that “they were very distinct as they were white and pink in color with a blank waistband,” detectives wrote.
Based on the footage, police said they were able to positively identify Nelson as the shooter.
Police said his underwear, taken from the hospital, matched the underwear from the surveillance footage.
Officers were able to locate the Lexus on 8th Street and discovered it had Indiana license plates. The rear window was broken out, police said. Blood was found on the passenger seat of the vehicle, and an ammunition magazine was found as well, according to the probable cause document.
Nelson was arrested and is facing charges of attempted murder, aggravated discharge of a firearm, and felon in possession of a firearm.
He was booked into the Winnebago County Jail.