New details revealed in Joliet case connected to Merichka’s shooting

Dakhari Jaudon

Will County prosecutors alleged four to five suspects were involved in a shootout that damaged businesses in Joliet and Crest Hill, including Merichka’s restaurant, court records show.

New details of the April 2 shooting were revealed in a court filing from prosecutors requesting Dakhari Jaudon, 22, of Joliet, stay locked up at the Will County jail.

Jaudon has been charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

On April 2, gunfire was exchanged between two people standing in the parking lot of Merichka’s on Theodore Street and two – possibly three – people in the parking lot of a strip mall across the street from Merichka’s, according to prosecutors.

The location of the shooting on Theodore Street is split between Crest Hill and Joliet.

Jaudon allegedly possessed a firearm and he was “one of the shooters” on the Joliet side of Theodore Street who was “likely to have been returning fire from the initial shooting from Merichka’s,” prosecutors said.

Window on Merichka's Restaurant in Crest Hill damaged by gunfire in the area on Tuesday, April 2, 2024. No injuries were reported in the restaurant.

Several vehicles and buildings were damaged in the shooting. Police recovered 43 spent shell casings from the area where Jaudon was, prosecutors said.

Video allegedly showed Jaudon from outside of a convenience store wearing a black hoodie and “white/gray” shoes while “firing a black handgun,” prosecutors said.

Jaudon trips over another person who was with him and falls, landing on his right wrist, prosecutors said.

Before the shooting, Jaudon and two other people are seen on video inside of a tobacco store in the strip mall, prosecutors said. Jaudon is wearing a mask that he removes at one point and he’s also wearing a black hoodie with a distinctive spider design, prosecutors said.

On April 4, Jaudon’s vehicle was pulled over by police in a traffic stop for an alleged violation and he was wearing the same hoodie, prosecutors said. He was also wearing a wrist brace on the same wrist he fell on, prosecutors said.

“[Jaudon] claimed he injured it playing basketball,” prosecutors said.

Jaudon had a firearm owner’s identification card but it was suspended because of an open felony case filed last year in Will County where he was charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, prosecutors said.