South Chicago

Suspect Charged in Murder of Two Teens in South Chicago Neighborhood

A 16-year-old and 17-year-old were fatally shot Saturday night in the South Chicago neighborhood

A suspect was charged Thursday in the murders of two teenage boys who were fatally shot when they went to a store to buy snacks in the South Chicago neighborhood last weekend, according to police.

Laroy Battle, 19, was arrested around 11:45 a.m. in Schiller Park Thursday after he was identified as the offender who shot and killed the two victims in the 7900 block of South Luella on Saturday, police said.

At around 5:10 p.m. on Saturday, Charles Riley, 16, and Ja-Sean Francis, 17, were getting snacks from a nearby store where they saw Battle and commented on his height, according to Chicago Police Department Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan.

“There was no altercation,” Deenihan said. “He’s about 6-foot-3’ to 6-foot-4 and they asked how tall he is. I know it doesn’t make any sense, so just imagine how the parents felt.”

Battle was seen on surveillance video entering and exiting the store. That’s when police say he then shot the two boys in an alley.

Business owners and family members helped identify Battle in the video, ultimately helping police break the case.

“These were just good kids from excellent families,” Deenihan said.

Francis sustained a gunshot wound to the back, the chest, the left hand, and was transported to the University of Chicago Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. Riley also died at the hospital.

Battle was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of possession of a controlled substance.

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