A 17-year-old was charged with murder in the shooting of an 11-year-old boy who was playing basketball at an East Chicago park May 5, according to the Lake County prosecutor.
The 17-year-old’s identity and other details were not released Friday because the court case was sealed as police continue to investigate, Bradley Carter, Lake County prosecutor’s office spokesman, said.
Prosecutor Bernard Carter confirmed, though, that the 17-year-old will be tried as an adult. Police have not said if the suspect is male or female.
Carter announced the murder charge in the case at a press conference Friday in Gary promoting a program to reduce urban youth gun violence in the area.
“Youth violence has to stop,” Bernard Carter said.
The Lake County SWAT team and East Chicago police arrested the 17-year-old Friday morning in the 4000 block of Parrish Avenue, Emiliano Perez, Lake County sheriff’s department spokesman, said.
David Anderson,11, died Sunday at a Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago after he was shot in the head the day before while playing basketball at Nunez Park in the 3700 block of Elm Street.
A fight broke out shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday between two other juveniles at the park and a gun was fired, striking the 11-year-old, Lt. Marguerite Wilder, East Chicago police spokeswoman, said.
Valorie Funchess, who was at the park with her grandchildren enjoying the warm weather, performed CPR on Anderson until paramedics arrived.
Anderson was taken to St. Catherine Hospital before being transported to Chicago, officials said.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Anderson’s death a homicide.
Roughly 100 family and friends gathered Tuesday evening on Butternut Street in East Chicago to hold a candlelight vigil in honor of the boy. LaTanya Anderson, the 11-year-old’s mother, led the group in chanting, “Long live David!”
“He was a good baby,” LaTanya Anderson said.
David Anderson was a student at George Washington Elementary School.
East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland said in a statement, “The situation that occurred was tragic, and our hearts and prayers are with the family that was affected by this horrible tragedy.”
Copeland said that police patrols at local parks “were immediately increased and are continuing” after the shooting.
“The public can be assured that the East Chicago Police Department is actively pursuing the perpetrator of this act and will not rest until that person is brought to justice,” Copeland said.
Article Org: chicagotribune.com