Four Charged In Shooting Death Of Antonio Smith, 9, Held Without Bond
CHICAGO (CBS) -- Four people have been charged in the shooting death of a nine-year old boy last month in the Grand Crossing neighborhood.
Antonio Smith was shot at least four times Aug. 20 while he was in a yard along the 1200 block of East 71st Street on the South Side -- the youngest victim of Chicago's gun violence so far this year.
Charged in connection with the killing were Derrick D. Allmon, 19; Michael D. Baker, 19; and 19-year-old Jabari Williams, and a fourth, 19-year-old Paris Denard., Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Friday. The four suspects were ordered held without bond in court Saturday.
All four face a count of first-degree murder, while Williams also faces a count of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.
McCarthy, in announcing the charges, say the three named suspects are gang members who were driving around the day of Smith's murder. They were "looking to shoot members of an opposing gang," McCarthy told reporters.
When Williams gave a gun to Allmon, a parolee, and instructed him to shoot two potential rivals. That's when Smith, the young victim, came along.
"Believing that Antonio Smith was yelling a warning to his intended victims, Allmon shot Antonio Smith multiple times, wounding him fatally," McCarthy said.
Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez gave no reason for Allmon allegedly shooting Smith, refusing to comment on a report that the boy was attempting to warn other gang members.
She says there's no proof Smith was ever in a gang.
The same gun used to kill Antonio Smith was also used in two other shootings, including a murder, McCarthy said.
Antonio was shot not far from where he lived. Antonio Smith's father, Kawada Hodges, said last month that his son had a tantrum and left the house. His brother chased after him. Antonio's father started searching the neighborhood, by car.
At the same time, Antonio's mother called police to say her son was missing. Minutes later, she received a call that he had been shot about 2 ½ blocks from home, near where his grandfather lives.
"I just believe that was where he was heading to and got caught in some gang crossfire," Hodges said last month. "He wasn't into gangs. We just got him into football. That wasn't his lifestyle."
A $13,500 reward had been offered for information on the case. McCarthy credited community and faith-based organizations with helping bring the case to a close. Officers at the scene also developed information to solve the crime, he said.
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