5 Charged in Boy's Death on Basketball Court

Darius Brown, 13, was struck in the neck in August while he played a pickup game

View Comments (


    Oct. 14, 2011: Darius Brown, 13, was struck in the neck in August while he played a pickup game.

    Four men and a woman face charges in connection with the shooting death of 13-year-old Darius Brown, struck while he played a pickup game of basketball in August at Metcalfe Park.

    Aramis Beachem, 22, Jamal Streeter, 18, and Vito Richmond, 17, all from Chicago, were charged with first-degree murder. Clarence Whitelow, 29, a felon from Chicago, was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. Michelle Lawrence, 21, from DeKalb, was charged with insurance fraud in connection with the shooting, police said.

    A judge on Friday ordered Richmond held on $2 million bond. Beachem was being held on $2.5 million bond.

    Police said Brown was the unintended target of gunfire that erupted Aug. 3 from a passing car. He was struck in the neck at 5:20 p.m. while playing basketball at his favorite spot in the park.

    Mother: "My Child is Gone Now"

    [CHI] Mother: "My Child is Gone Now"
    Aug. 4: Stephanie Brown says she's found a bit of peace knowing that her son, 13-year-old Darius, died playing the game he loved.

    "The investigation is still ongoing. We are still looking for others. We're not done," said Det. Tom Byrne, adding that the shooting was a case of gang retaliation.

    The charges brought some semblance of comfort to the boy's family.

    "It kind of sets you back, but we do know it's a long road ahead of us. This is just the beginning, so we're just trying to stay prayerful and trying to stay strong," said the boy's mother, Stephanie Brown.
    Brown, who would have been an 8th grader at Holy Angels Catholic School, loved basketball and played nearly every day, with dreams of making it to the NBA.

    A week after his death, his friends and family retired his jersey.

    "It's dreadful," said Chicago Bulls Ambassador Sydney Green at the ceremony. "And it's something that we can relate to -- that I can personally relate to -- and this kid was on the basketball court honing his skills of becoming the next or better Derrick Rose and his life was cut short."