Complaint: Surveillance footage, cellphone records linked suspects to deadly November shooting

Mugshots for Chabris Link (left) and Justin Burage (right)
Courtesy of the Cook County and Dane County jails

MADISON, Wis. — Two men recently arrested in connection with a deadly shooting that happened on Madison’s northeast side last fall are now facing charges tied to the incident.

Thirty-two-year-old Chabris Link and 33-year-old Justin Burage were arrested earlier this week in connection with a Nov. 17 shooting that killed 24-year-old Eric Ranson. According to online court records, Link faces one count of first-degree intentional homicide; Burage faces one count of first-degree intentional homicide as a party to a crime.

The criminal complaint filed last week against both men claims the shooting, which happened around 12:30 a.m., was captured by a security camera from the residence Ranson was staying at. Footage from the camera reportedly shows Ranson leaving the residence and approaching a light-colored SUV that was parked out front.

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Audio from the recording reportedly captured the sound of multiple gunshots coming from near the SUV. At the same time, the recording showed Ranson — who was armed with a handgun at the time — falling backward while shooting toward the street. The complaint alleges that one of the shooters from the SUV can be seen entering the right side of the frame while shooting at Ranson.

A witness later told police that Ranson exited the residence shortly after he got a call from a friend who police later identified as Burage. When Burage was later arrested, officers seized two cell phones. Cell records from one of those phones were later used to confirm the number had made calls and sent messages to Ranson’s and Link’s phones.

A Chicago Corrections Parole Agent also confirmed one of the phones that Burage had contacted the night of the shooting belonged to Link. The parole agent also noted that Link had been arrested in late January 2022 in an unrelated incident. Police seized a 9mm handgun during that arrest.

A Madison Police Department detective later spoke with a sergeant in Illinois who told him that Link had previously been treated for a gunshot wound to his leg on Nov. 17, 2021. Link, at the time, told the sergeant he had been shot on the interstate, but officials found there wasn’t any evidence to support that claim.

The complaint claims that Link later consented to Illinois police searching his SUV, which was light blue in color. Officers didn’t find any blood in the vehicle, but they did find receipts from two Madison-area businesses dated Nov. 16, 2021. Illinois police later handed over evidence from the vehicle search, including Link’s clothing, which matched the clothes shown in the surveillance video from the night of the shooting.

With the help of more cellphone data, police were able to confirm that Link’s phone was in the vicinity of the 3500 block of Home Avenue around the time of the deadly shooting. Surveillance footage from a nearby Kwik Trip also captured Burage driving Link’s SUV that was spotted outside of Ranson’s residence.

Burage made his initial appearance in Dane County Court on Thursday. A court commissioner ultimately ordered he be held on $500,000 cash bail. Burage was also ordered to not have any contact with Link or any of Ranson’s family. He was also ordered to not have any dangerous weapons and not possess any drugs or paraphernalia.

As of Thursday afternoon, Link was still in custody in Illinois awaiting extradition to Dane County.