About Advertise Archive Contact Search Subscribe
Serving the Loop and Near North neighborhoods of downtown Chicago
Facebook X Vimeo RSS
Video captured deadly confrontation at River North 7-Eleven

Marques Gaines and assailant exchanged words minutes before attack

25-Apr-16 – The images they caught are open to interpretation but surveillance cameras were recording when Marques Gaines, a 32-year-old bartender at a Magnificent Mile hotel, was attacked outside a 7-Eleven in February. Knocked out by a punch to the head, Gaines lay flat on his back in the street as he was robbed by a witness to the attack and then run over accidentally by a taxi.

Two cameras were inside the 7-Eleven early on Sunday morning, February 7. One was outside, over the front door. Another was in the northeast corner of the intersection of North State Street and West Hubbard Street. Two cameras were in the taxi.

The video, obtained by subpoena by Hurley McKenna & Mertz, the Chicago law firm that is representing the family of Marques Gaines in a lawsuit, appears to support the sequence of events summarized in the complaint. It also shows, from two angles, that minutes before the assault, there was some interaction between Gaines and the unidentified man who attacked him and for whom police are now searching.

7-Eleven, Inc. 4:08 a.m. Three men are standing outside the 7-Eleven on the Hubbard Street side. The man at far right in the group, wearing white shoes, is the attacker.

(Click on images to view larger versions.)

He walked to the convenience store from the north, crossing Hubbard Street with another man and meeting up with a third man who walked from the direction of Mother Hubbard’s Sports Pub at upper right in above video frame.

Marques Gaines assault outside 7-Eleven at State & Hubbard on February 7, 2016. Video from camera over front door.

4:15 a.m. Marques exits Mother Hubbard’s. After his shift ended at Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, he walked about three blocks to the bar on Hubbard Street for drinks with co-workers. He now walks straight out, pauses for about 15 seconds, then walks toward the 7-Eleven. As he passes the three men, he speaks to them, though it is not at all clear what he says. He turns away from them, staggers slightly toward the door of the 7-Eleven, turns back toward the men, turns away again, starts to walk toward them, but stops.

Weaving a little, with his hand up to his face, he stands on the sidewalk for about 20 seconds, then walks up to the men and does or says something that is very quick but causes one of the men to turn toward Marques as he walks away and goes into the store.

7-Eleven, Inc. (Left) Seen from a camera over the front door, Marques, in blue shirt, is talking to three men just barely in frame at very top. The group to his right is unrelated.

(Right) Whatever has happened here, one of the three men, whose legs are seen at top of frame, is reacting by turning to face Marques as he quickly walks away. 7-Eleven, Inc.

4:16 a.m. Marques Gaines enters the 7-Eleven. He looks at items across from the check-out counter and then walks to the back of the store were potato chips and other snacks are kept.

7-Eleven, Inc. 4:18 a.m. The man in white shoes, who will soon attack Marques, walks away from the group to which Marques was speaking and toward the front door of the 7-Eleven, where Marques is inside.

(Below) Marques has brought a bag of chips up to the counter. The man with his back to the camera has just walked in and will soon leave without buying anything. Marques is a little unsteady on his feet and at one point drops money and picks it up.

7-Eleven, Inc. In the vestibule at upper right, the man who will attack Marques walks through the front door and looks at Marques briefly before being kicked out.

Marques has for just a moment turned his attention to the man who walked in earlier and he entirely misses seeing the man who appears briefly in the vestibule.

Marques Gaines assault outside 7-Eleven at State & Hubbard on February 7, 2016. Video from camera inside store.

7-Eleven, Inc. The security guard at right has followed the man at left as he walks into the store. With his thumb he gestures for the man to leave, which he does.

The man goes back to the two men standing outside the store on Hubbard Street, as the guard stands by the door.

4:19 a.m. Marques has paid for his chips and is just outside the store. From inside, everything looks normal. More people enter and leave. One man appears to spot a security camera and makes a face at it.

7-Eleven, Inc. Outside, Marques is spotted by his attacker, his white shoes in frame at upper right. Ahead of Marques is the man who went into the store but did not buy anything and by coincidence leaves just ahead of Marques.

The security guard is still near the door at lower right of above image. Other people at lower right are unrelated.

7-Eleven, Inc. He approaches Marques and argues with him. When the guard appears to say something, the man becomes furious.

7-Eleven, Inc. He shouts at Marques and the other men, and paces anxiously as the man at right tries to calm the situation that is quickly escalating to violence.

7-Eleven, Inc. As Marques walks away, the man lunges at him.

Chicago Police Department The video is grainy but a camera from across the intersection captures this same moment. Marques escapes this punch. He walks a few steps onto State Street at left.

He turns toward his attacker and throws something at him, most likely the bag of chips, which lands several feet away.

With one powerful punch from the stocky, enraged man, Marques drops unconscious to the street, lying on his back.

Chicago Police Department Immediately, two men at left run up to Marques. One is clearly robbing him and runs off in three seconds. The other appears to search Marques and at one point partially rolls him over.

The man at far right in above image is the attacker. The man to the right of Marques was just crossing the street.

A crowd gathers but soon disperses, leaving Marques alone in the street. Many people walk by without helping.

7-Eleven, Inc. 4:20 a.m. The security guard (at far right) enters the store and appears to ask for a mobile phone behind a counter, which a clerk gets for him. The guard calls 911 and reports a man “punching a customer.”

When asked if an ambulance is needed, the guard replies, “I think so. He’s unconscious.”

7-Eleven, Inc. Meanwhile, the man who has hit Marques does not leave immediately. He slowly walks back toward the store. He stops a few times and looks back toward Marques, as in this frame. At one point he walks toward him.

Another time, he appears to get angry at someone else. A minute and a half after hitting Marques, he looks back at him once last time and slowly walks south on State Street.

The two clerks inside the store are beginning to look concerned. One clerk goes to the front door to look while the other stays behind the counter.

7-Eleven, Inc. 4:21 a.m. One of the clerks peers out through the door. At upper right, looking back toward Marques, are the man who attacked him and the man who tried to calm him before the assault.

4:22 a.m. More police vehicles arrive along with an ambulance and a fire truck.

4:23 a.m. The clerk and security guard step inside the store, pull the door shut, and lock it. No one comes through the door for the next 13 minutes. The guard picks up the phone and calls 911 to again report “somebody falling down outside the store.”

When asked if the person is breathing, the guard first says, “I think so. I don’t know.”

The dispatcher asks the guard to go look at Marques, which he does. He comes back and says, “Yes, he’s breathing. He’s bloody.”

While he is talking to the dispatcher, screams are heard in the background as a taxi, driven by Mehdi Seyftolooi, hits Marques. The guard says to the dispatcher, “He’s dead, I think. A car hitting him.”

As he waited at a stoplight moments earlier, Seyftolooi could have seen the attacker walk away from Marques after assaulting him, then turn and walk back around the corner to leave the scene via State Street.

Nearly two minutes after Marques was knocked unconscious into the street, the taxi, with no passengers, a taxi ahead of it and a police car directly behind, turns from Hubbard onto State Street, runs over Marques and pins him under the vehicle.

Though no cameras capture Marques being hit by the taxi, people outside the 7-Eleven are seen as they recoil in horror.

7-Eleven, Inc. This man appeared to be watching over Marques but the taxi rolls over the unconscious man quickly and without warning.

The police car that was behind the taxi is the first emergency vehicle on the scene. The driver of the taxi acknowledges the police car as he gets out of his vehicle. A crowd gathers again.

4:24 a.m. As the guard and both clerks watch from the vestibule at 7-Eleven, a second emergency vehicle arrives.

Chicago Police Department

(Above) Emergency personnel tend to Marques, who is pinned beneath the taxi at lower right. Six people team up to lift the taxi so that Marques can be pulled from under the vehicle. With severe injury to his lower chest, he is put on a stretcher with a cervical collar to keep his head steady and taken to an ambulance on State Street.

Globe Taxi Association (Left) Seen from a video camera inside the taxi, police officers lift the vehicle so that rescuers can pull Marques out from under it.

4:28 a.m. The guard unlocks the front door of the 7-Eleven and leaves the store. One of the clerks then shuts and locks it again. It will stay locked at least until 4:33 a.m., when the guard returns.

4:36 a.m. The store is open to customers again.

4:41 a.m. Ambulance 42 leaves for Northwestern Memorial Hospital about five blocks away.

At the hospital, Gaines’s heart stops beating five times. He is revived four times but when it happens a fifth time, doctors realize there is too much damage to his liver. Gaines dies shortly thereafter, four hours after the accident.

On Thursday, the family of Marques Gaines announced they have filed a lawsuit against 7-Eleven, the taxi driver who struck him, and two taxi companies. The lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, seeks a trial by jury to consider counts of negligence and wrongful death.

 Previous story: Lawsuit seeks justice for bartender killed outside River North 7-Eleven