Teen charged in slaying
Police seek 2nd gunman seen on tape and by witnesses to killing
| Tribune staff reporters
October 24, 2007
While family members prepared to bury a young Englewood boy shot to death in a gang battle in which his only role was victim, another teen was charged Tuesday in the boy's slaying.
Arthur Jones, 10, was fatally shot a week ago just blocks from his home when two rival gangs met in the 800 block of
West Garfield Boulevardand at least two people fired shots, police said.
On Tuesday, Chicago police announced charges against Lesean Jackson, 17, an alleged member of the Black P Stones gang, who police said fired shots at the rival Gangster Disciples but instead struck Arthur, an innocent bystander.
Wentworth Area Cmdr. Patricia Walsh said police are looking for another suspected gunman, also believed to be a Black P Stones member whom witnesses and videotaped surveillance showed firing into the crowd.
Police do not yet know if Jackson or the other alleged gunman fired the fatal shot. No guns were recovered, though they have been described as an automatic weapon and a handgun, Deputy Supt. Hiram Grau said.
Walsh said the shooting was prompted by a fight between the two gangs earlier in the day. The Black P Stones returned to the neighborhood about 4:35 p.m. "determined they were going to even the score," she said.
Grau credited the "outrage" of the community and willingness of witnesses to come forward with helping to identify those allegedly involved.
Last week, police charged two other teens with murder for supplying at least one of the guns used in the shooting. Steven McCaskill, 17, another Black P Stones member, allegedly handled the murder weapon. A 14-year-old also was charged last week with murder for passing the weapon from McCaskill to Jackson , police said.
All three teens have previous juvenile records, Walsh said. Jackson turned himself in Tuesday but did not give a statement to police, Walsh said. However, he was identified by witnesses and was seen in the videotape firing into the crowd, she said.
As a parent, Grau said he could imagine the difficulty of losing a child.
"We hope [the family] can take some comfort in knowing these offenders are taken off the street," Grau said.
Jackson of the 5100 block of South Union Avenue was expected to appear for a bond hearing Wednesday in the Cook County Criminal Courts Building, said Andy Conklin, a state's attorney's office spokesman.
Arthur, the youngest of nine children who went by the nickname "AJ," was heading to a store nearby with his best friend after school to buy candy and soda when he heard shots ring out and tried to run, according to witnesses. He was shot in the neck and died later at a hospital.
Arthur loved professional wrestling and wanted to be a pastor, family members said.
On Tuesday evening, while Arthur's mother went to the funeral home to make final arrangements for his service, other family members and friends talked about the peace the charges have brought.
"This is closure. You can move on," said Valerie Wood, who identified herself as a family member by marriage. The last week has been "an emotional roller coaster," she said. "Now we're just trying to concentrate on tomorrow."
Wood said she personally felt sorry for the families of the young men who have been charged.
"It's tragic," she said. "Their life is ruined too."
Members of the Englewood community last week openly mourned for Arthur, with local church and school leaders pulling together a $15,000 reward for information about the slaying.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church ,
4543 S. Princeton Ave.