DOUGLAS — A 16-year-old on electronic monitoring attended a court hearing for his pending case, then carjacked a Lyft driver on the West Side before driving to the South Side and fatally shooting a teen as he walked home from school, Cook County prosecutors said Thursday.
The 16-year-old is is charged with first-degree murder and vehicular hijacking. Prosecutors said he fatally shot 15-year-old Michael Brown about 3:15 p.m. Tuesday. The 16-year-old will be tried as an adult while another 15-year-old who was with him faces charges for felony possession of a stolen car.
A Cook County judge ordered the 16-year-old held without bail Thursday. The status of the 15-year-old’s court hearing was not immediately clear.
On Tuesday, a Lyft driver went to the 4000 block of West Gladys Avenue to pick up the 16-year-old, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said during Thursday’s hearing. The teen, riding in the back, took out a gun and held it to the driver’s head, then told the man to get out of the car and leave behind his belongings, Murphy said.
The teen then drove off in the car, Murphy said. Data from his electronic monitoring bracelet matched the time and location of the carjacking, Murphy said.
The 16-year-old then picked up the 15-year-old and went to the 3300 block of South Prairie Avenue, where Brown was walking on the sidewalk, Murphy said.
The 16-year-old got out of the car, walked up to Brown and pointed a gun “right at Michael’s head and shot him in the head,” Murphy said.
After the high school freshman fell to the ground, the gunman stood over him and shot him nine more times, shooting him twice in the right side of his head and in his shoulder and chest, Murphy said.
The shooter then got into the passenger side of the SUV and the two drove away, Murphy said. GPS data from his electronic monitoring bracelet placed him at the scene of the shooting, and video surveillance captured from a nearby home showed someone in a black-hooded sweatshirt with white letters on the back go up to Brown, shoot him and get into the car, Murphy said.
Officers who were looking for the stolen car spotted it at 23 W. 63rd St. and stopped the driver and passenger, Murphy said. The 15-year-old was in the driver’s seat, while the shooter was in the passenger seat — and a gun was found near that seat, Murphy said.
The 16-year-old’s hands had gunshot residue on them, and casings from the scene matched the gun taken from the car, Murphy said.
The teen was also wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with white letters on the back that said, “Reach for the stars,” Murphy said.
Police Supt. David Brown said the shooting was targeted, but detectives are unaware of any prior connection between Brown and the two teens.
Brown was “a 15-year-old boy who was just walking home from school,” Murphy said.
The 16-year-old was arrested on a gun charge in June 2021, according to NBC Chicago. He was released on electronic monitoring and later placed on a curfew.
He was arrested a second time in December and charged with unlawful use of a weapon, NBC reported. A judge ordered him to be on electronic monitoring and it was in that case where he had a juvenile court hearing the day of the carjacking and Brown’s killing.
The judge ordered the teen to report back to court the following day after he appeared in a virtual hearing without wearing a shirt, NBC reported.
Community activist Andrew Holmes, who has been in contact with Brown’s family, told Block Club they are “relieved that the people responsible were found and charged.”
Brown’s mother, Ebony Hagler, told the Tribune her son “was always there to help anybody” and would “give you his clothes that he couldn’t fit in, if he knew you needed them.”
This is at least the second time in less than a month a teenager heading home from school has been fatally shot in Chicago. Caleb Westbrooks, 15, was killed last month in West Town. He was a freshman at Rauner College Prep.
Less than an hour after Brown was killed, a 16-year-old Uriel Rogers-Knox was fatally shot near the University of Chicago campus. The shooting happened about 4:10 p.m. in the 6200 block of South Greenwood Avenue. The teen was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center and later died, police said.
Sir Mario Ford, 19, was charged in the slaying Thursday.