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17-year-old charged in connection with Evanston shooting that left teen paralyzed

17-year-old charged with shooting teen girl at Evanston birthday party
17-year-old charged with shooting teen girl at Evanston birthday party 02:07

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Evanston police announced that a 17-year-old boy was charged in connection with the July 25 shooting that left a teenage girl paralyzed.

Around 6:20 p.m., the suspected shooter fired at least seven rounds over a fence into a backyard in the 1300 block of Fowler Avenue where teenage kids were gathered for a birthday party, police said during a news conference on Wednesday. Officers found the girl, who was 13 years old at the time, named Marie, with a gunshot wound to the neck.

The girl, a native of Rwanda, was the only person injured in the shooting.

Police did not identify the suspect, but the Cook County State's Attorney identified him as Dejuan Richardson in a court filing last Saturday. The Saulk Village resident was arrested on Aug. 11 on charges of attempted first degree murder and aggravated battery. He was charged as an adult.

A judge held Richardson without bail, according to the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

Another partygoer, not the girl who was wounded, was the intended target of the shooting, said Evanston police Sgt. Kenneth Carter. The court filing also described how witnesses told police a 14-year-old partygoer who used to play basketball with the suspect was the target. The 14 year old saw the suspect in the alley of the home where the party took place, opened a gate and the shooter fired at the boy. The 14 year old closed a gate on the gunman and that's when he raised his gun over the fence and began firing indiscriminately, striking the girl.

Carter added the teen girl remained hospitalized as of Wednesday due to the gunshot wound. Carter said she has a "serious spinal cord injury." In its court filing, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office said the victim is paralyzed from the neck down, is intubated and on a ventilator. Prosecutors said doctors believe she will be a paraplegic.

Police were able to identify the suspect because of witnesses who saw the car fleeing and offered a partial plate number. They matched the make and model to the partial plate and used geo-tracking from the defendant's Snapchat to determine where he was at the time of the crime.

While police are not searching for an additional offender, Carter said the investigation into the shooting is still ongoing. Carter thanked the North Regional Major Crimes Task Force and Cook County State's Attorney's Office for their assistance with the investigation.

Anyone with more information related to the incident is asked to call the Evanston Police Department Detective Bureau at 847-866-5050 or text 274637 and begin the text with EPD Tip.

A GoFundMe page was set up for Marie and her family to pay for her medical expenses. As of Wednesday, it's raised over $23,000.

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