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Teen suspect in deadly shooting of Chicago drummer sentenced to 5 years in juvenile detention center

Teen suspect in deadly shooting of Chicago drummer gets to 5 years in juvenile detention center
Teen suspect in deadly shooting of Chicago drummer gets to 5 years in juvenile detention center 01:41

CHICAGO (CBS) — A teenage boy was sentenced on Wednesday for the deadly shooting of a beloved Chicago drummer on the city's Southwest Side in 2022.

The 16-year-old appeared in front of a judge who sentenced him to five years at a juvenile detention center. The shooter, who was 14 at the time of the killing, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in March.

On April 8, 2022, Ryan Arliskas, 27, better known by his nickname "Tygercat," was walking home in the 2000 block of West 35th Street in McKinley Park when he was approached by three boys who pushed him into an alley and shot him in the neck, leaving him to die.

Chicago police released surveillance images of the suspects in August 2022 — one from inside a convenience store and another on a CTA bus the same night Tygercat was murdered. The shooter was taken into custody in March 2023.   

Family and friends waited outside of the courthouse with photos of Tygercat on their shirts. 

"Every song reminds me of him because every song has a drum, a drummer in it, and so I always think of him," said Tygercat's mother, Molly Arliskas. 

The shooter's attorney, David Drwenke, said the motive behind the killing remains unclear as nothing was taken following the shooting.

Family of slain Chicago drummer react to sentencing for killer 02:33

"I believe that this was a group of young boys in an unfamiliar area who just did something stupid and tragic and awful," he said. 

For months, Arliskas' family searched for answers about the case but received limited information as the suspects were juveniles. Tygercat's mother told the teen he was a vicious monster. 

"My son deserved so much better, and he would have done anything for his community," she said. 

The five-year sentence was the strictest the teen could have received in the Department of Juvenile Justice. He will receive about a year's credit towards his sentence for time already served. 

Tygercat's family thought he should have been charged in adult court and said they'd fight for tougher penalties in cases similar to theirs. 

A second accomplice, who the family calls the "lookout," was taken into custody and charged, but a trial date has yet to be set. They say the third boy seen in surveillance images was never taken in for questioning.  

"I feel his spirit here," Arliskas said. "But he's never coming back. He won't ever have a voice. Someone has to be his voice."

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