Crime and Courts

2nd suspect arrested in killing of retired Chicago officer Larry Neuman

A 16-year-old suspect, who will be charged as an adult, has also been charged in Neuman's killing

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A second suspect has been arrested in the killing of 73-year-old retired Chicago police officer Larry Neuman, according to authorities.

Police said a 17-year-old faces a charge of first-degree murder in connection to Neuman's killing in West Garfield Park earlier this month.

According to officials, the suspect was taken into custody Thursday in the 2400 block of East 75th Street.

Additionally, the suspect was charged in an armed robbery that occurred in November 2023, also in West Garfield Park. He is slated to appear in bond court Saturday.

Neuman was shot to death near his home in the 4300 block of West Monroe Street, shortly after paying a man to help him mow his lawn.

Neuman saw the two suspects put on ski masks and reached for his own gun when he was shot multiple times, managing to fire off one shot.

Neuman collapsed and was taken to a hospital with gunshot wounds to his chest and leg but died a short time later.

The charges come as visitation and funeral services for Neuman are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Police have now apprehended both suspects in the killing of Neuman, with Lazarius Watt, the 16-year-old suspect in the case, appearing in court this week after turning himself in on the evening of June 23, three days after the killing.

Watt appeared in court on Tuesday, when NBC Chicago reporter Charlie Wojciechowski reported that Watt had been on home confinement at the time of the murder and had seven violations of electronic monitoring six months earlier.

Before the murder occurred, court documents showed that the teen had been set to be arraigned in juvenile court Tuesday on a carjacking, Wojciechowski reported.

During his appearance Tuesday, the judge deemed Watt a threat to the community and ordered him detained. His next court appearance is set to take place July 16.

The hearing comes a day after Chicago Police Supt. Larry Snelling held a press conference saying the teen had been arrested and charged with first degree murder in connection with Neuman's killing.

CPD Superintendent Larry Snelling, Chief of Detectives Antoinette Ursitti and Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx gave new details about the murder of former officer Larry Neuman in Chicago's West Garfield Park neighborhood.

Chief of Detectives Antoinette Ursitti credited the public for their assistance in bringing the suspected shooter to justice, explaining multiple people provided the teenager's name after police released surveillance footage last week,

"The community assistance in this case was instrumental in the investigation," Ursitti said. "The evidence they provided helped detectives quickly secure charges against the 16-year-old offender."

An officer assigned to the Area Four Priority Response Team also recognized the offender from a previous encounter in May, during which he was wearing the same clothes, police said.

Neuman, who was the longest-serving explosives specialist in Chicago Police Department history, most recently served as an explosives technician with the TSA at Midway International Airport, where he passed on his knowledge to younger generations.

The veteran officer long lived in West Garfield Park, where he was deeply involved in the neighborhood - a community that loved him, Snelling said.

"He still lived within that community when he didn't have to," the police superintendent said. "But it showed how much he cared about the people who live in that neighborhood."

A number of community members, local leaders and officers honored Neuman with a march and vigil on Sunday.

While he spent his professional life protecting others, Neuman also worked tirelessly to bring peace to the West Garfield Park neighborhood - to show young people "there is a better way." Snelling recalled a recent conversation with Rev. Paul Simms of St. Michael Missionary Baptist Church, where Neuman served as a minister.

"And what he said was that Larry would have done whatever he could to reach out to those two young men who were responsible for his murder," Snelling said. "Larry's life was taken from him by the very people he committed his life to helping."

While making an arrest and filing charges in the case won't bring Neuman back, police hope it will bring some type of justice to his family -- and prevent others from going through what they have.

Dozens of people took part in a march Sunday in the city's West Garfield Park neighborhood to honor retired police officer Larry Neuman, who was shot and killed days earlier. NBC Chicago's Lexi Sutter reports.

"So we will carry on Larry's mission," Snelling said. "We will continue to honor Larry and other members of of any community who stepped up and tried to do whatever they could to better those communities."

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