Teen charged in 'senseless' fatal shooting of 7-year-old boy in Chicago: Police

Teen charged in 'senseless' fatal shooting of 7-year-old boy in Chicago: Police

The victim, Jai'mani Amir Rivera, died after being shot in the chest.

ByMariama Jalloh and Meredith Deliso

June 21, 2024, 11:15 PM

    A teenager now faces murder charges after a 7-year-old boy was fatally shot in the chest in a random act of gun violence in Chicago, police announced Friday.

    The victim, Jai'mani Amir Rivera, had just left his apartment and was on the sidewalk Tuesday afternoon when shots rang out, police said. Responding officers rendered aid and then rushed him in their squad car to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

    A 16-year-old suspect has since been charged with four counts in connection with the shooting, including first-degree murder and first-degree murder for personally discharging a firearm that caused the death of the victim, Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling said Friday.

    MORE: 7-year-old boy shot dead outside his front door in Chicago: 'Unbearable'

    Police have not released the name of the suspect because he is a juvenile. He was taken into custody on Thursday, less than 48 hours after the shooting, Snelling said.

    Detectives "did excellent work to hold this violent offender accountable and take him off the streets so that he can't destroy another family," Snelling said during a press briefing.

    PHOTO: Chicago police officers investigate the shooting that left 7-year-old Jai'mani Amir Rivera dead at the Oakley Square Apartments, June 18, 2024, in Chicago.

    Chicago police officers investigate the shooting that left 7-year-old Jai'mani Amir Rivera dead at the Oakley Square Apartments, June 18, 2024, in Chicago.WLS

    Police were able to document the suspect's movements before and after the shooting through video footage and with help from the community, according to Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Antoinette Ursetti. An anonymous tip assisted in identifying the teen, who is believed to be the sole offender, she said.

    Thirteen rifle casings were recovered as part of the investigation, Ursetti said. The firearm has not been recovered, though police believe it to have been an assault rifle, she said.

    MORE: 3 injured after gunmen open fire on building hosting funeral reception in Chicago suburbs: Officials

    It is unclear why the shooting occurred, though Jai'mani was not the intended target, Ursetti said.

    "We all understand this is senseless and this is why it's senseless -- we can't give you a confirmed motive for why this happened," she said during the press briefing. "There is no justification or explanation that would make it any better. But this is the senselessness that we're talking about."

    PHOTO: Chicago police officers investigate the shooting that left 7-year-old Jai'mani Amir Rivera dead at the Oakley Square Apartments, June 18, 2024, in Chicago.

    Chicago police officers investigate the shooting that left 7-year-old Jai'mani Amir Rivera dead at the Oakley Square Apartments, June 18, 2024, in Chicago.WLS

    The suspect had an active warrant for failure to appear in court on an unrelated arrest, police said.

    Members of the Chicago police and the U.S. Marshals' Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force were able to locate the teen at his residence in Chicago, where he was arrested Thursday afternoon, Snelling said.

    An unrelated stolen weapon was recovered at the scene of the arrest, police said.

    A juvenile detention hearing is scheduled for Saturday.

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