4 charged in girl's shooting death

September 4, 2008 4:45:25 PM PDT
Four suspects appeared in court Thursday in connection with the shooting death of a 10-year-old girl on Chicago's South Side Monday evening.The alleged gang members remain behind bars in the death of Nequiel Fowler.

Friends and neighbors paid their respects to Nequiel Fowler's family Thursday night during visitation. They are relieved to hear the news regarding the arrest of the four men charged in the case. Two of those charged were not given a bond. Bond for the other two was set at $1 million two.

Fowler was killed one day before she was to begin the fourth grade.

In the memory of Nequiel Fowler and two other children killed this past weekend, a silent antic-gun protest was held Thursday in front of the Thompson Center. At the same time, the four men charged in Fowler's murder appeared in court.

The news of an arrest is a big relief to Fowler's grandmother.

"I pray for them, because that's a bad thing that they did, and a little girl of 10 years old, you took her life like that, and a sweet little girl that didn't bother nobody," said Linda Fleming, Nequiel's grandmother.

Nequiel Fowler was walking down the street on Monday afternoon when she was hit by gang gunfire. Prosecutors say the four men charged all played a specific role. Raymond Jones is accused of providing the gun. Joseph Chico is accused of driving the getaway car and Antoine Lacy is accused of ordering the shooting. Prosecutors say Luis Pena fired the gun.

"Those shots from Pena's gun went through that gangway and struck Nequiel Fowler under her left armpit, a bullet lodged in her chest," said Maria McCarthy, Cook County assistant state's attorney.

Prosecutors say Pena, Chico and Lacy are all gang members, and while Lacy is being accused of being the enforcer, his attorney says the 25-year-old is innocent.

"He was not in the area at the time of the shooting. He wasn't at the actual shooting. He was not in the vicinity immediately after the shooting. And as I said, he denies guilt in this matter," said Joshua Kutnick, Antoine Lacy's attorney.

Nequiel Fowler's family says the girl will be missed, especially by her 5-year-old blind sister. Nequiel was leading her sister down the street when she was killed.

"Her sister puts her fingers in Nequiel back pocket to lead her around. She loved her sister," said Fleming.

Nequiel Fowler's grandmother said her 5-year-old granddaughter has asked a lot of questions about what's happened to her sister. But she says she doesn't fully understand.

As for Nequiel mother, her mother says that she is so distraught over this, she's unable to make the wake but she will be on hand for the funeral Friday. The funeral will be held at a funeral home on the West Side at 1 p.m.


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