Man charged in shooting death of 9-year-old Chicago boy

CHICAGO (AP) — A 39-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder in the killing of a 9-year-old boy who was fatally shot while playing in front of his home, Chicago Police said Tuesday.

Janari Ricks was playing outside with friends in the Cabrini-Green neighborhood on the city’s near North Side on Friday evening when he was shot once in the chest.

Darrell Johnson, of Chicago, was arrested Sunday on the city’s South Side after he was identified as the person who shot Janari, according to a police news release. He is scheduled to appear in bond court Tuesday.

During a news conference with Chicago’s police superintendent on Monday, Alderman Walter Burnett, who represents Cabrini-Green on the City Council, said the suspect was aiming at a rival when he shot Janari.

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Steve Greenberg, a prominent Chicago attorney who is representing singer R. Kelly against sexual abuse charges, said he is representing Johnson.

“It is awful when a child or anyone gets shot (and) it is just as bad when the wrong guy gets charged,” Greenberg said, while declining to discuss the charges against Johnson in detail.

The boy was one of 105 Chicago homicide victims in July and one of 38 juveniles who have been homicide victims so far this year. Janari was the city’s fifth homicide victim this year under the age of 10.

Police also announced Tuesday that a third suspect in the July 4 shooting death of 7-year-old Natalia Wallace has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder and aggravated battery/discharge of a firearm. Natalia was killed outside her grandmother’s South Side home.

Terrell Boyd, 30, was taken into custody Monday in Racine, Wisconsin, where he lives, police said in a news release. Boyd has been extradited to Chicago, and he is scheduled to appear in bond court on Tuesday.

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