Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy has said that a gang member, recently released from prison, shot and killed a young boy because he thought he was playing the role of ‘lookout’.
The Chicago Sun Times reports:
“This didn’t have to happen,” McCarthy told reporters as he announced charges in Antonio Smith’s murder.
The four men charged with first-degree murder are Derrick Allmon, 19, of the 7400 block of South Shore Drive; Jabari Williams, 22, of the 1900 block of North Sycamore Street in Hanover Park; Michael Baker, 19, of the 8100 block of South Wentworth Avenue; and Paris Denard, 19, of the 7300 block of South Dorchester Avenue.
Cook County Judge Donald Panarese Jr. ordered all four men held without bond Saturday.
Antonio was shot and killed Aug. 20 in the backyard of a home in the 1200 block of East 73rd Street.
Family members told the Sun-Times that Antonio stormed out of the family apartment when his mother refused to get him a cupcake.
McCarthy on Friday said the four men were part of a group driving around in two vehicles, in search of rival gang members. They stopped when they saw two intended targets. That’s when Williams gave Allmon a gun, and told him to shoot the men.
When Allmon reached the backyard of a home, he saw Antonio, and believed he was warning the men. So he began firing, hitting the boy several times in the back and side, McCarthy said. He was just between four and 10 feet away from Antonio when the fatal shots were fired.
When Allmon saw Antonio, the boy screamed “Hey!” before being shot six times, in the back, shoulder, side and hand, prosecutors said Saturday.
After Allmon shot Antonio, he got into a getaway vehicle driven by Baker and told him, “I just hit a shorty. I just hit a shorty,” prosecutors said.
Allmon went to Denard’s house where he changed his shirt and rinsed his hands in urine to clean off the gun residue, prosecuors said.
After Allmon’s arrest, he allegedly told police where he tossed the gun, which was recovered on Thursday.
McCarthy said Allmon had just gotten out of jail earlier in August, after serving 18 months for possession of a loaded weapon. Correctional officials said Allmon served 21 months.
Allmon was arrested in 2012, pleaded guilty in March 2013 and was sentenced to 3-1/2 half years in prison. But he was released on parole in August.
“Unfortunately this tragic murder is yet one more example of the strife being caused by gangs and guns in our community. But the real kicker to this entire case is that it didn’t have to happen,” McCarthy said. “He should not have been on the street to commit this murder.”
Williams was arrested Wednesday when police spotted him with a loaded gun. The other men were arrested Thursday.
The .380-caliber handgun used to kill Antonio was found Thursday in a nearby sewer, McCarthy said. He said the gun has been used in two shootings this year, including a murder still under investigation.
“Chicago’s murder problem is a gun problem,” he said, adding that Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City have the same murder rate, excluding shootings, because Chicago has more firearms coming into the city. “Something has to happen. It’s too easy to obtain a firearm.”
McCarthy credited investigators, as well as community members in finding the suspects, some of who were known by the community by their nicknames.
“When this murder first occurred investigators initially had very little to work with but the nature of this murder, that a 9-year-old boy could be gunned down in cold blood outraged both the community and our residents,” McCarthy said. “The community refused to stay silent and provided us with information that culminated in the arrest of these three offenders, all of whom are documented gang members.”
McCarthy added there is no evidence that Antonio or anyone in his family had any gang affiliation.
Antonio’s mother, Brandi Murry, said he had run out of the house because he was upset.
She was on her way home from work that day when he called to ask his mother for a cupcake, and she said no.
Antonio got upset, Murry said at the time. And her 12-year-old son called back to say Antonio had fled the family’s new apartment in the 1100 block of East 73rd Street.
Twenty minutes later, Chicago police found Antonio behind a home in the 1200 block of East 71st Street. He had been shot multiple times, and died later at Comer Children’s Hospital.
(Photo Source: Chicago Sun Times)