15-year-old charged in shooting of 7-year-old

August 21, 2013 5:53:53 AM PDT
A 15-year-old appeared in front of a judge Tuesday, facing charges that he shot a 7-year-old boy.

The shooting happened Sunday in Chicago's West Garfield Park neighborhood.

The mother of the accused shooter says she is heartbroken and in disbelief.

Lavonte Jackson, 15, who is charged with shooting Tyvion Jackson, 7, was already on electronic monitoring for pending drug charges and violated his probation by being out after 2 p.m.

The judge set bond at $900,000. The defendant's mother, Erika Jackson, broke down when she left the courtroom.

"I want to apologize to the family; I don't know if my son did this, but they say he did, he did it... there is not enough letters or apologies... to say what I want to say," said Erika Jackson.

The teen's mother says he denies shooting the victim.

"He says he didn't do it... I don't believe him or the police, I want to see for myself, because he is not the type that would do something like that," said Erika Jackson.

Asked about the bond, Jackson said: "$900,000? I don't even have $9, let alone $900,000, but it is not about me; it's about a baby that got shot," said Erika Jackson.

Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Amanda Pillsbury says two witnesses identified Lavonte Jackson as the shooter who fired at the victim outside the boy's home in the 4200-block of W. Fifth Ave. on Sunday.

"According to both witnesses, the defendant was the only person out there with a gun," said Pillsbury. "Both witnesses named the defendant to detectives on scene about 10 minutes after the shooting."

The defendant was charged as an adult with felony aggravated battery and discharging a firearm.

"I knew where he was, I knew he hangs down there, I just didn't know the extent of what he was doing down there," said Erika Jackson. "[If] I gotta stop going to school, I gotta stop going to work to follow my kids around, then we'll be in poverty forever."

Following the bond hearing, ABC7 went to the home of the 7-year-old victim. His mother, Tasha McDuffie, says her son is now home, and while he is physically mending, the damage might be more long-lasting.

When she heard that the defendant's bond was set at $900,000, she said that she knew it was high, but asked how one can really put a price on a life, especially the life of her son.


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