Humboldt Park

Charges Dropped Against 1 Person in Fatal Shooting of 7-Year-Old in Humboldt Park

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NBC Bay Area

Cook County officials on Thursday ordered a 19-year-old man charged in the fatal shooting of a 7-year-old boy in Humboldt Park to be held without bail while dismissing charges against another person that was linked to his death.

Joseph Serrano was charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Akeem Briscoe, who was struck by a stray bullet in his home last month. A 16-year-old suspect was arrested and also charged as a juvenile with first-degree murder Monday, Chicago Police Supt. Brown said.

David Cervantes, 18, was arrested in connection to the killing, however the Cook County State's Attorney's office said Thursday that it has dropped the first-degree charge against him.

At about 8:15 p.m. Oct. 26, the three suspects approached another group sitting in a car in an alley in the 2600 block of West Potomac Avenue, Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan told reporters.

Deenihan said the teen passed a gun to one of the adults, who then fired the fatal shot that tore through a window of Briscoe’s home. The boy was struck in the abdomen and died hours later, police said.

A law enforcement source had previously said the slaying stemmed from an internal dispute between members of the Maniac Latin Disciples and could be linked to two other recent shootings. Four men were previously taken into custody, apparently all from one side of the dispute, the source said.

After the fatal shooting, Akeem’s uncle told the Sun-Times the boy had been reeling from the death of his father, who died a week before after heart surgery.

“He said he didn’t want his dad to be gone, and he wanted to be with him,” the uncle, Terribia Misters, said. “Now he’s where his dad’s at.”

Akeem is among at least 33 children under the age of 15 who have been killed in Chicago so far this year, according to records maintained by the Sun-Times.

In announcing the charges, Brown sent a pointed message: “You won’t get away with these heinous crimes of violence.

“These are first-degree murder charges. We really want to send this message to violent offenders that the Chicago Police Department is dedicated, committed to bringing you to justice.”

He urged kids to seek out “safe spaces” during the holidays and to avoid “being involved in any kind of gunplay.”

“We really want to encourage our young people who may or may not be involved in gun violence to put the guns down,” he said, “that having a gun doesn’t make you safer.”

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