Chicago’s youngest victim lost to gun violence this year may have been targeted by four reputed gang members who thought the boy shouted a warning to rival gangbangers, Chicago police said Friday in announcing charges in the month-old slaying.
At a news conference, Superintendent Garry McCarthy lauded the help of the community in solving the slaying of 9-year-old Antonio Smith Jr., saying police had little to go on after his shooting Aug. 20 in a back yard in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood
“The community refused to stay silent and provided us with vital information that culminated in the arrest of these three offenders,” McCarthy told reporters Friday afternoon at police headquarters. A fourth suspect was charged later.
Police allege the four – all members of the Sircon City faction of the Gangster Disciples street gang – were riding in two cars that afternoon looking to shoot members of the Pocket Town, a rival GD faction. In the 1200 block of East 71st Street, they spotted two men they believed were rivals, police said.
According to McCarthy, the alleged gunman, Derrick Allmon, 19, got out of one car, walked over to the other and talked to Jabari Williams, 22, who handed Allmon a handgun and told him to shoot the two.
“As Allmon approached his intended targets on foot, he came across Antonio Smith in the rear yard of a residence,” McCarthy said. “Believing that Antonio Smith was yelling a warning to his intended victims, Allmon shot Antonio Smith multiple times, wounding him fatally.”
Antonio’s body was found on a concrete slab just a few feet from railroad tracks that have long served as the dividing line between the two rival gang factions. Police have said Antonio was not in a gang but lived in an area controlled by the Pocket Town faction.
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