Chicago Police: Suspect arrested in slaying of 9-year-old

CHICAGO (AP) — A suspect has been arrested in the fatal shooting of a 9-year-old boy in Chicago and police hope to secure charges against him in the coming days, the city's police superintendent said Monday.

The boy, Janari Ricks, was shot in the chest while playing with friends near his home in Cabrini-Green on Friday night.

“He was shot and killed while doing what every child in our city should be able to do without a second thought,” Police Superintendent David Brown said at a news conference. “He was playing with friends on a warm summer evening just outside his front door.”

At least nine people were killed and 24 were injured in gun violence at the weekend, Brown said.

He declined to provide details about the suspect in Janari's killing until charges are filed, but police have said the boy was not the intended target of the shooting.

Brown said detectives were able to make the arrest because people in the community provided information and that he hoped their willingness to assist police would encourage others to do the same. Witnesses to crimes in Chicago are often reluctant to help because of a lack of trust in the police force.

“You're less safe by not coming forward,” Brown said. “This is the best example of a community coming forward and I would encourage other communities to take note."

Brown's comments came two days after the police department released statistics that revealed July was one of the most deadly months in the city's history. July ended with 105 homicides compared to 44 recorded in July 2019.

Of the city's 440 homicides thus far in 2020, Brown said 38 of them have been juveniles and that Janari was the fifth such victim under the age of 10.

An alderman who represents the ward where the killing occurred said the alleged gunman and his intended target knew each other and that both men used to live in Cabrini-Green with their families.

“Stop coming to the neighborhood and doing your dirt,” an angry Alderman Walter Burnett Jr., said during Brown’s news conference.