HUMBOLDT PARK – A teenager has been charged with murder after police say he fired shots near a Humboldt Park home, sending a stray bullet through a window and killing 7-year-old Akeem Briscoe.
The 16-year-old was charged with first-degree murder on Tuesday. Police did not release his name and said he was accused of being a minor. He was 15 at the time of the shooting, police said.
At about 8:20 pm on October 26, Akeem was at home in the 2600 block of West Potomac Aevnue, washing his hands in preparation for dinner with two brothers and his mother, when a bullet came through the window and struck his stomach, police and the family said.
“This should be one of the safest places your child should be,” Supt. David Brown said Tuesday.
Akeem’s family rushed to help the injured 7-year-old boy, the family said. He was taken to Stroger hospital in critical condition and died, authorities said.
Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said there was a group of people in the alley behind Akeem’s home when another group approached and someone shot the first group of people inside a car. None of those targeted were injured; instead, a bullet tore through Akeem’s home, Deenihan said.
The teenager was among three people who passed through the walkway and attacked the group in the car, Deenihan said. The other two people are adults who were arrested, but no charges have been filed until Tuesday evening, Deenihan said.
Police don’t think the teen fired the gun, but at one point he had the gun and passed it to one of the other two people, Deenihan said.
Akeem’s grieving family, already reeling from the unexpected death of the boy’s father that same month, pleaded for the shooter to come forward. The teenager was arrested on Monday, Brown said.
“Turn yourself in. If you don’t turn yourself in, everyone knows you don’t have a heart,” Akeem’s uncle, Terribia Misters, said outside the family home the day after the shooting.
“When they catch you, you have to sit and be in jail for a long time to think about what you did. You took the life of a little boy who didn’t even get a chance to experience life itself.
Officers had received multiple calls of shots fired on Rockwell Street and Potomac Avenue and found several shell casings in the alley behind the home, police said.
“Any person affected in the city is tragic. When it comes to such a child, an innocent child, in the safety of his own home, it’s completely tragic.” said Chief Detective Ron Pontecore at the moment. “It’s something we take seriously. We will be deploying many resources in the area to find out who is responsible for this.”
Akeem was a talkative and affable boy who enjoyed watching movies, playing video games and playing games with his friends, his uncle said.
He attended the Walter L. Newberry Math & Science Academy in Lincoln Park and was looking forward to a class trip the week he was killed, his uncle said. Akeem lived with Misters, his two brothers and his mother, Misters’ sister.
“He loved to talk. He was definitely a chatterbox,” Misters said. “He called me his favorite uncle because I stayed with him the longest, playing with him and doing things with him.”
The family moved into the Humboldt Park apartment four years ago, Misters said. The night Akeem was killed, the family was eating a meal of chicken, vegetables and rice prepared by Akeem’s mother, she said.
Misters said his sister was also packing Akeem a packed lunch for his school trip the following day.
Akeem was killed just days after the funeral of his father, who also died in October after “heart surgery gone bad,” Misters said.
Neighbors quickly launched a fundraiser to cover Akeem’s funeral expenses and support his family. GoFundMe surpassed its $25,000 goal. Organizers have asked supporters not to publicly publish any photos of Akeem.
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