Chicago Violence

Man Charged in Shooting Death of 9-Year-Old Boy in Cabrini-Green: Police

Chief Brendan Deenihan said community information helped detectives make an arrest

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A man was charged with murder Tuesday in connection with the shooting death of a 9-year-old boy in Chicago’s Cabrini-Green neighborhood, police announced.

Darrell Johnson, 39, of Chicago, was arrested Sunday and has since been charged with first-degree murder, police said Tuesday.

Authorities revealed Monday that a suspect was in custody in connection with the shooting and that charges were expected in the coming days.

Chief Brendan Deenihan said community information helped detectives make an arrest.

"We're not in this position without the help of the community who came forward and gave us information," Deenihan said in announcing the arrest.

According to authorities, 9-year-old Janari Ricks was standing in a parking lot in the 900 block of North Cambridge at approximately 6:45 p.m. Friday when a person began firing shots. Janari, who police said was not the intended target, was hit in the chest and taken to Lurie Children’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown addresses another weekend of violence that left multiple juveniles dead.

The boy’s mother Jalisa Ford spoke to reporters on Saturday, saying that her son was playing with a friend when he was shot.

“I just got the call that he was laying out there, and I immediately came out here and I watched everything, every moment,” she said. “Now I’m burying my son. I gotta re-live this all over again. He’s all I had. I don’t have anybody. My son is gone.”

Police Supt. David Brown said Janari was the 38th juvenile murdered in gun violence in Chicago this year. Of those 38, five were under the age of 10.

"A bright, athletic, soon-to-be fourth grader who loved math and basketball was just 9 years old when he was shot and killed while doing what every child in our city should be able to do without a second thought," Brown said Monday.

He added that the arrest in the case marked the best example of a community coming forward that he has seen.

"Without the community we can't do our jobs," he said.

Janari was one of nine people killed in weekend violence across Chicago. Another 27 were wounded in the shootings. The number marked the lowest number of weekend shooting victims in recent weeks.

"But none of this matters," Brown said. "None of it matters when a child loses his or her life."

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