Chicago Shootings

16-year-old charged with murder in fatal shooting of 7-year-old in Chicago

Jai'Mani Amir Rivera was leaving his family's Near West Side residence to visit a neighbor Tuesday afternoon when he was struck by gunfire

NBC Universal, Inc.

A 16-year-old has been charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a 7-year-old boy in Chicago this week, authorities announced Friday.

The teen, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, faces felony first-degree murder charges, among others, in connection with the killing of Jai'Mani Amir Rivera, the city's top cop CPD Supt. Larry Snelling said during a press conference.

"Jai'Mani's life was taken from him, for what?" Snelling said. "There is no excuse for this violence. It's unacceptable that we have Chicagoans losing their lives. It's absolutely maddening, heartbreaking that innocent children are dying in our city. Parents should not have to bury their children."

The charges come nearly 24 hours after a person of interest was taken into custody Thursday and roughly 48 hours after Jai'Mani was killed. The teen charged is expected to appear in a juvenile detention hearing Saturday.

Jai'Mani was leaving his family's Near West Side residence to visit a nearby neighbor Tuesday afternoon when he was struck by gunfire. Police had said they do not believe the child was targeted, but shots were fired roughly 300 feet away in a "clear line" from where he was walking.

Snelling said officers "worked tirelessly to make sure that we took someone into custody who shot aimlessly in the direction of a 7-year-old, striking him in the chest and taking his life."

During their press conference Friday, authorities said the teen charged in the shooting was captured on surveillance video, where he is allegedly seen "approaching on foot before he stops and opens fire, striking Jai'Mani" before he fled on foot.

The weapon used in the shooting has not yet been recovered, police said, noting that they believe an assault rifle was used.

No motive has been given as police called the shooting "senseless," and said they had no other suspects in the case.

A 7-year-old child was shot to death in Chicago's Near West Side neighborhood Tuesday afternoon, according to authorities.

According to Snelling, 127 children and teens under the age of 18 have been victims of gun violence in 2024. 17 of those shot have been killed.

"Those numbers are significantly down from last year, but still unacceptable," Snelling said.

Contact Us