A community activist was arrested Wednesday as he joined growing calls for action following the shooting deaths of two students from Simeon Career Academy on Tuesday.
Ja’Mal Green, who had offered a reward for information in the shooting death of Jamari Williams just blocks from the school, was arrested at Chicago’s City Hall on Wednesday, according to police officials.
He was at the building to protest what he calls inaction on the part of officials and lawmakers in the wake of the deaths of Williams and Kentrell McNeal on Tuesday.
Green was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and failure to disperse, both of which are misdemeanors. Another protester was also arrested for obstruction, Green told NBC 5’s Natalie Martinez.
Several vigils were also held to honor Williams and McNeal, both of whom were 15 years old and athletes at the school.
“I know Jamari’s looking down on us, like ‘dang, y’all really came out for me,” Williams’ friend Miracle Jones said.
Williams was killed near the school outside of a strip mall, when a person in a black sedan fired shots at him, striking him in the chest.
Friends and loved ones set up balloons and cards at a park near 65th and Racine on Wednesday to honor his memory.
“It really hurt a lot of people around me. I send condolences to his family,” Kendall Broughton, a friend of Williams, said.
Darryl Smith, who says he coached Williams, called him an outgoing kid who loved playing sports, including football.
“It’s a shame his life was taken at a young age,” Smith said. “It’s far too familiar.”
Just four hours later, McNeal was shot in the head and later died. He was sitting in a car with a 14-year-old friend that was also shot, according to Chicago police.
McNeal was a member of Simeon’s basketball team, and also was an active member of the local non-profit “GoodKidsMadCity.”
“I’m at a loss for words,” organization leader Carlil Pittman said. “He was kind of like a big brother to a lot of boys on the team. Mentor, a fun kid.”
Now, other groups and activists are stepping up to try to help solve the crimes. Father Michael Pfleger is offering a $5,000 reward for anyone that has enough information to lead to an arrest in the shootings.
Chicago police say no suspects are currently in custody, and detectives are continuing to investigate both shootings.