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Charges filed in shooting that killed 7-year-old boy on Chicago's Near West Side

16-year-old charged in shooting death of 7-year-old Jai'mani Amir Rivera
16-year-old charged in shooting death of 7-year-old Jai'mani Amir Rivera 01:11

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Charges were filed Friday against a 16-year-old in a shooting earlier this week that killed a 7-year-old boy on the city's Near West Side.

The boy, Jai'mani Amir Rivera, was shot in the chest around 3 p.m. Tuesday while exiting the building in the Oakley Square Apartments complex in the 2300 block of West Jackson Boulevard.

Jai'mani was going to visit a neighbor when he reached the sidewalk, and someone started shooting in his direction. Police sources said 13 shots were fired from a rifle.

Jai'Mani Amir Rivera Legal Help Firm

Police Supt. Larry Snelling said officers rushed to the scene of the shooting and immediately began applying pressure to the boy's chest.

The apartment complex is gated, and neighbors said the bullet that struck Jai'mani came from outside the gates. Police said the 7-year-old was an unintended target. CPD said the suspect had a warrant out for a "robbery-related offense."  

Chicago Police said they took the accused gunman into custody two days ago. He was going to a neighbor's house Tuesday afternoon when he was hit by a stray bullet.

Police said the shooting was captured by a security camera. Police sent that video to area officers who recognized the 16-year-old gunman.

There was already a warrant for his arrest for a previous robbery. A tipster also confirmed the gunman's identity. Police arrested him at his home in the 1800 block of West Monroe Street.

"It's absolutely maddening, heartbreaking, that innocent children are dying in our city," said Supt. Snelling.

Frustrated residents and Jai'mani's family marched for peace earlier on Friday. Dozens of people filled Jackson Boulevard at Western Avenue—the same street where Jai'mani was killed. His mother was there in the car with a photo of her young son, but no words.

Speaking for the family was Jai'mani's cousin, 10-year-old Joel Rivera.

"He had something to live for. He was only 7. He was just studying to sign a contract for football," Joel said, "but he was taken away."

The shooting that killed Jai'mani also came a little over a year after Nicole Watson, 44, was killed by a stray bullet through the fence at the same complex. Her then-13-year-old son, Jacob, was seriously wounded, but survived.

"My heart is broken like their heart is broken," said Nicole Watson's father, Paul Watson. "Neither one of us wanted to be in this crowd."

The teen accused of killing Jai'mani was charged with first-degree murder, and discharge of a firearm to cause death. He is to appear for a detention hearing on Saturday in Cook County Criminal Court.

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