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 Tuesday with first-degree murder. Police did not release his name and said he is being charged as a juvenile. He was 15 at the time of the shooting, police said.
About 8:20 p.m. Oct. 26, Akeem was at home in the 2600 block of West Potomac Aevnue, washing his hands to get ready for dinner with two siblings and his mom, when a bullet came through the window and hit his stomach, police and family said.
“This should be one of the safest places your child should be,” Supt. David Brown said Tuesday.
Akeem’s family scrambled to help the wounded 7-year-old, 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 house when another group approached, and someone shot at the first group of people inside a car. None of the people targeted were wounded; instead, a bullet tore through Akeem’s home, Deenihan said.
The teen was among three people who came through the gangway and attacked the group in the car, Deenihan said. The other two people are adults who have been arrested, but no charges have been filed as of Tuesday night, Deenihan said.
Police don’t think the teen fired the gun, but he had the gun at some point and passed it to one of the other two people, Deenihan said.
Akeem’s grief-stricken family, already reeling from the unexpected death of the boy’s father the same month, pleaded for the shooter to come forward. The teen was arrested Monday, Brown said.
“Turn yourself in. If you don’t turn yourself in, everybody know you ain’t got a heart,” Akeem’s uncle, Terribia Misters, said outside of the family home the day after the shooting.
“When they catch you, you need to sit down and be in jail for a long time to think about what you did. You took a young boy’s life who didn’t even get a chance to experience life itself.”
Officers had received multiple calls for shots fired at Rockwell Street and Potomac Avenue and found several shell casings in the alley behind the home, police said.
“Any person that’s shot in the city is tragic. When it’s a young child like this, an innocent child, in the safety of their own home, it’s entirely tragic,” Detective Chief Ron Pontecore said at the time. “It’s something we take seriously. We’ll deploy a lot of resources to the area to find out who is responsible for this.”
Akeem was a talkative and affable kid who liked to watch movies, play video games and play with his friends, his uncle said.
He attended Walter L. Newberry Math & Science Academy in Lincoln Park and was looking forward to going on a school field trip the week he was killed, his uncle said. Akeem lived with Misters, his two siblings and his mother, Misters’ sister.
“He enjoyed talking a lot. He was definitely a talker,” Misters said. “He used to call me his favorite uncle ’cause I’ve been around 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 shot, the family was eating a meal of chicken, vegetables and rice prepared by Akeem’s mother, he said.
Misters said his sister was also making Akeem a bagged lunch for his field trip the following day.
Akeem was killed just a few days after the funeral for his father, who also died in October after a “heart surgery gone wrong,” Misters said.
Neighbors quickly launched a fundraiser to cover Akeem’s funeral expenses and support his family. The GoFundMe surpassed its goal of $25,000. Organizers asked that supporters not publicly post any photos of Akeem.
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