A teenage boy was among three people charged in the fatal shooting of a 7-year-old boy who was struck by a stray bullet as he washed his hands in his Humboldt Park home last month, police officials announced.
The 16-year-old suspect, who was 15 at the time of the shooting and is being prosecuted as a juvenile, was arrested Monday and charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Akeem Briscoe, Chicago police Supt. David Brown told reporters. Two adults, including the alleged gunman, also were arrested in connection with the shooting.
Joseph Serrano and David Cervantes, 19 and 18, were both charged with first-degree murder, police announced Thursday morning.
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.
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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.”