SUS­PECT AR­RESTED IN FA­TAL SHOOT­ING OF 9-YEAR-OLD

Po­lice con­fi­dent charges will be ap­proved soon, credit com­mu­nity with help in in­ves­ti­ga­tion

Chicago Sun-Times - - FRONT PAGE - BY SAM CHARLES AND FRANK MAIN Staff Re­porters Con­tribut­ing: Made­line Ken­ney, Manny Camarillo, Nader Issa

A sus­pect is in cus­tody in the fa­tal shoot­ing Fri­day of a 9-year-old boy who was play­ing on the Near North Side, po­lice said Mon­day.

Ja­nari Ricks was shot and killed Fri­day while play­ing in a va­cant lot near the site of the for­mer Cabrini-Green hous­ing project.

CPD Chief of De­tec­tives Bren­dan Deeni­han told re­porters Mon­day he’s con­fi­dent charges against the sus­pect will be ap­proved soon. He cred­ited neigh­bors with help­ing of­fi­cers lo­cate the sus­pect quickly.

“We’re not in this po­si­tion with­out the help of the com­mu­nity who came for­ward and gave us in­for­ma­tion which al­lowed us to iden­tify and ar­rest the sus­pect,” Deeni­han said.

Au­thor­i­ties said Ja­nari was play­ing with friends in the row­houses of the Cabrini-Green pub­lic hous­ing com­plex in the 900 block of North Cam­bridge Av­enue around 6 p.m. Fri­day when a gun­man opened fire, fa­tally strik­ing the boy in the chest. Chicago po­lice said the boy was an un­in­tended tar­get.

The boy was taken to Lurie Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal, where he was pro­nounced dead an hour later.

Speak­ing to re­porters Mon­day, lo­cal Ald. Wal­ter Bur­nett (27th) said the sus­pected shooter and his in­tended tar­get are both from the area orig­i­nally, but nei­ther lives there any­more. Bur­nett wouldn’t say what the men were do­ing in the neigh­bor­hood the night of the shoot­ing, but he urged non­res­i­dents to stay out of the row­houses.

“Peo­ple, you don’t live there any­more. Stop com­ing over to the neigh­bor­hood and do­ing your dirt,” Bur­nett said. “Do dirt where you live, or don’t do dirt at all. But stop com­ing to the row­houses and do­ing things. The peo­ple in the row­houses are just try­ing to survive, just try­ing to live, just try­ing to raise their fam­i­lies.

“The vi­o­lence did not come from peo­ple who live in the row­houses,” he added. “The vi­o­lence came from peo­ple who come over to the row­houses and do their dirt. We need to keep these peo­ple out of our neigh­bor­hood.”

CPD Supt. David Brown said Mon­day he would not be sur­prised if the sus­pect had a lengthy crim­i­nal back­ground. But de­spite hav­ing ac­cess to the sus­pect’s ar­rest re­port, Brown de­clined to dis­cuss the sus­pect’s crim­i­nal his­tory un­til charges were ap­proved.

Brown also said that the ar­rest in the case could serve as an ex­am­ple to other parts of the city where po­lice and com­mu­nity re­la­tions are frayed.

“I would en­cour­age those com­mu­ni­ties that don’t have a sense of trust [in the CPD] to look at this com­mu­nity as an ex­am­ple of how they can be made safer by bring­ing vi­o­lent crim­i­nal of­fend­ers to jus­tice, off the streets of Chicago, which makes their neigh­bor­hoods safer,” Brown said.

Wal­lace “Ga­tor” Bradley and Andrew Holmes were among the com­mu­nity ac­tivists who met with res­i­dents in Cabrini-Green over the week­end to en­cour­age them to give up the shooter. Some­one even posted a photo of the sus­pect on so­cial me­dia in an ef­fort to have him ar­rested.

Bradley, head of United in Peace and a for­mer gang en­forcer, said he’s been stress­ing that any­one who shoots a se­nior cit­i­zen, woman or child should be os­tra­cized — some­thing he calls “The Code.”

“We are not vig­i­lantes, but these guys need to be brought to jus­tice for what they’re do­ing,” he said, re­fer­ring to the two dozen young chil­dren shot, five fa­tally, this year in Chicago.

By Satur­day, a me­mo­rial had sprouted up along the same block where Ja­nari had lived. Neigh­bors and friends brought two bas­ket­balls, a foot­ball and stuffed an­i­mals. Some lit can­dles; oth­ers tied bal­loons on a metal fence. Ja­nari’s beloved hov­er­board — a present on his last birth­day — was placed on the ground in front of the me­mo­rial.

On Mon­day, Pas­tor Dono­van Price added a white, wooden cross. It had been made by Greg Za­nis be­fore he died ear­lier this year. Over more than 20 years, Za­nis had made and de­liv­ered thou­sands of crosses for homi­cide vic­tims in Chicago and else­where.

Ja­nari’s mother, Jal­isa Ford, said her son was a straight-A, “hon­or­roll” stu­dent en­ter­ing fourth grade at Ruben Salazar El­e­men­tary School.

The fam­ily of a man who was stabbed to death out­side a West Town bar in Fe­bru­ary is su­ing the man’s al­leged at­tacker as well as the bar.

Ken­neth Pa­te­r­i­mos, 23, was tar­geted be­cause he was gay, the fam­ily’s at­tor­ney, John Cor­bett, said Mon­day talk­ing to re­porters dur­ing a tele­con­fer­ence an­nounc­ing the law­suit.

“It is the hope of Ken­neth Pa­te­r­i­mos’ fam­ily that go­ing pub­lic with this tragedy — a tragedy that they will have to live with al­ways — will shed some light on per­haps bring­ing some changes that will put a stop to this sense­less vi­o­lence di­rected to­ward LGBTQ peo­ple,” Cor­bett said.

Among other things, the wrong­ful death suit, filed in the Cir­cuit Court of Cook County, al­leges Richard’s Bar “failed to pro­vide the nec­es­sary per­son­nel to pro­tect against the mis­con­duct of pa­trons.” A rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the bar, at 491 N. Mil­wau­kee Ave., couldn’t be reached for com­ment Mon­day.

Thomas Tansey, a Ma­rine Corps vet­eran, is charged with two counts of first-de­gree mur­der for the fa­tal Feb. 21 stab­bing. No trial date has been set.

Wit­nesses told po­lice that Tansey had been drink­ing alone at the bar for sev­eral hours when he be­gan ar­gu­ing with Pa­te­r­i­mos, a barista who had been at the bar with friends. The two men scuf­fled in­side the busi­ness and had to be sep­a­rated af­ter com­ing to blows. Tansey was later thrown out of the bar. Tansey al­legedly slashed Pa­te­r­i­mos with a box cut­ter out­side the bar, pros­e­cu­tors say. Tansey’s at­tor­ney has ar­gued that his client was de­fend­ing him­self.

Pa­te­r­i­mos’ friends and fam­ily mem­bers have said that Tansey made ho­mo­pho­bic re­marks about Pa­te­r­i­mos, but pros­e­cu­tors did not men­tion any such slurs dur­ing early court hear­ings.

On Mon­day, Pa­te­r­i­mos’ mother, Diona Bueno, spoke about the pain of los­ing her son.

“Ev­ery day is hard,” said Bueno, who lives in the Austin neigh­bor­hood. “Ev­ery day I get to go into his room, and in­stead of wak­ing him up, I get to take a smell and hope that I can still smell him.”

Ja­nari Ricks

AN­THONY VAZQUEZ/SUN-TIMES

Chicago Po­lice Supt. David Brown an­swers a ques­tion Mon­day dur­ing a press con­fer­ence to an­nounce the ar­rest of a sus­pect in the fa­tal shoot­ing of 9-year-old Ja­nari Ricks on Fri­day.

SAM CHARLES/SUN-TIMES

A cross was added to Ja­nari Ricks’ me­mo­rial Mon­day by Pas­tor Dono­van Price. It had been made by the late Greg Za­nis, who made and de­liv­ered thou­sands of crosses for homi­cide vic­tims across the coun­try.

Ja­nari Ricks

TYLER LARIVIERE/SUN-TIMES FILE

Fam­ily mem­bers of Ken­neth Pa­te­r­i­mos stand in front of Richard’s Bar, de­mand­ing jus­tice, in March. Pa­te­r­i­mos was stabbed out­side the bar Feb. 21.

Thomas Tansey

Ken­neth Pa­te­r­i­mos

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