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No bond for man who confessed murder to South Side pastor

Grant Lamont – 34 2900 Block South State 1 count Murder - First Degree 1 count Attempt - Murder -

Grant, Lamont – 34 2900 Block South State 1 count Murder - First Degree 1 count Attempt - Murder - First Degree 1 count Agg Battery/Discharge Firearm Subject wanted for murder and attempted murder after being positively identified as the person who shot both victims at 2900 Block of S. State Street on 10 Aug 13, killing one of the victims.

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Updated: September 17, 2013 7:41AM

The father of five who confessed to a South Side pastor that he had murdered a man was firing at his estranged wife and her boyfriend as they stood on a sidewalk in the middle of a “Safe Passage” school route, authorities said.

Lamont Grant’s rival continued to fight for his life after the bullets from Grant’s gun pierced his biceps and leg and grazed his left abdomen Saturday evening, Cook County prosecutors said.

Ralph McNeal, 54, wasn’t so lucky.

He was killed when Grant fired and struck him in the right arm and back outside the Dearborn Home public housing complex in the 2900 block of South State, Assistant State’s Attorney Amanda Pillsbury said Wednesday.

Grant, who lives on the same block, was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder, attempted murder and discharge of a firearm. Cook County Judge Donald Panarese Jr. ordered Grant held without bail.

Just a day before the killing, the Chicago Public Schools designated the street a “Safe Passage” route for students walking to Drake Elementary School.

McNeal and Grant’s wife’s boyfriend were visiting the woman when Grant drove up, got out of his car and started shooting at a crowd that had gathered on the pavement, Pillsbury said.

Grant then allegedly walked up to his wife’s new 25-year-old beau and pulled the trigger before fleeing in his vehicle.

Despite his injuries, the boyfriend was able to jot down Grant’s license plate number and gave it to officers who arrived on the scene minutes after they heard the gunfire, Pillsbury said.

Other witnesses who knew Grant also identified him as the shooter, Pillsbury said.

But police didn’t need to search for Grant, 34.

Grant, who goes by the street name “Papa,” was apparently ready to turn himself in after contacting the Rev. Corey Brooks.

“He wanted to repent for his sins, and so that’s what we did. He was pretty distraught,” said Brooks, the pastor of New Beginnings Church.

Brooks said he picked up the distraught Grant late Tuesday night on the South Side. After a prayer session, the two dined on burgers at a fast-food joint. Then, around 1 a.m., they drove to the Chicago Police station at 51st and Wentworth, where Grant turned himself in to detectives, Brooks said.

Brooks said he was contacted by Grant’s family after they urged the man to come forward. The pastor said Grant, who suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, had been attacked on Friday and was not in his right mind when he opened fire.

“I don’t know what provoked him to finally get around to shooting, but he hadn’t had his medicine, he was stressed and he was scared,” Brooks said.

“He turned himself in because [McNeal] had nothing to do with the” previous attack on him, Brooks said.

Grant asked, “ ‘Does God forgive you when you do things that are accidents and someone gets hurt?’ ” Brooks said. “I told him, ‘Absolutely.’”

On Wednesday, Cook County Judge Donald Panarese Jr. ordered Grant held without bail.

Grant’s grandmother said Grant was remorseful but provided no additional comment.

Grant has a previous weapon and drug conviction.

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