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.
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.
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.
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.
With one powerful punch from the stocky, enraged man, Marques drops unconscious to the street, lying on his back.
A crowd gathers but soon disperses, leaving Marques alone in the street. Many people walk by without helping.
When asked if an ambulance is needed, the guard replies, “I think so. He’s unconscious.”
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.
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.
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.
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.