Gambling debt is fatal shooting motive, prosecutors say

CHICAGO (AP) — A 79-year-old used car dealer fatally shot a 40-year acquaintance during an argument over a gambling debt, Cook County prosecutors said Saturday.

The Chicago Tribune reports that James Kelley, 72, was killed by a gunshot wound to the back about 3:25 p.m. Wednesday at Dunmore's Auto Sales in Chicago's Grand Crossing neighborhood.

Willie Dunmore was charged with first-degree murder and held on a $200,000 bond. Prosecutors said at Dunmore's bond hearing that he and Kelley had known each other for four decades and that Kelley repeatedly went to the auto dealer to “collect on an old gambling debt.”

A friend of Kelley's drove him there again Wednesday and waited while Kelley went inside. The friend reported seeing Dunmore's son come out, his hand to his stomach "as if he were holding a gun” before the son placed the item in a vehicle, according to prosecutors.

He said Dunmore then came out, reported that he had shot Kelley, and said, “It's over now, and he is dead on the floor,” the authorities noted.

Authorities said Dunmore reported the shooting and when they arrived, told police that the two had struggled and the gun had gone off accidentally.

Dunmore's attorney told the judge that Kelley “day after day threatened Mr. Dunmore,” that his client had been truthful with police and that he had stayed on the scene. He said Dunmore's family is nearby and he is not a flight risk.

The judge said a factor working against Dunmore in setting the bond is that the weapon allegedly used in the shooting had been removed from the scene.