Bond denied for high school shooting suspect

March 10, 2008 4:44:30 PM PDT
Police officers surrounded Crane High School Monday morning for the first day of classes since Friday's shooting left one Crane student dead. Crisis counselors are helping students deal with the tragedy.

A Cook County judge denied bond for the teenager charged in that fatal shooting. Detectives believe the shooting was the result of a gang fight that occurred earlier Friday afternoon.

Inside Crane High School grief counselors are at the ready, prepared to assist anyone who decides they need to talk about the tragedy that occurred. They are paying special attention to those folks, the teachers, staff, students who knew 18-year-old Ruben Ivy.

Meanwhile, outside Crane High School, there is a visible difference. There is additional security personnel as well as police just to make sure that everyone stays safe. The crackdown began early Monday morning with Chicago Police officers questioning anyone loitering near Crane High School.

"Class starts at 8 o'clock. We don't want anybody hanging around here. We don't want anybody getting shot," said Capt. Hootan Bahmandeji, Chicago Police.

The increased police presence comes just days after 18-year-old crane high school junior Ruben ivy was shot to death during a gang fight Friday.

Monday's special detail is a welcome sight to parents still concerned about their children's safety.

"I have seen more parents today than I have ever seen this entire school year," said Deborah Perkins, concerned parent.

Grief counselors remain at Crane, trying to help the school community cope with the violence. Although Crane High School student Devonte Smith has been charged with a crime, some students still feel uneasy.

"There are fights like every other day," said LaTasha Townsend, Crane High School student.

While some neighborhood residents hope all the attention over the incident will help curb the cycle of violence, others remain concerned that outrage will turn to apathy.

"It seems as if there is a tolerance for or this apathy that prevails. As a result, no one is trying to be proactive or trying to minimize any of this," said Leonard Johnson, neighborhood resident.

So far, police have cited about a dozen students, some that attend Crane High School, some that don't for truancy because they were loitering around the school. As for the grief counselors, school officials say they will remain on site for as long as they need to.

There was more security and there was also counseling available to students. After all, some of them lost a friend and the incident happened just a block away from the school. But some from inside the school and some from the community say that there's been a problem with escalating violence. And on Monday some stood up to demand change.

On Monday afternoon, the anti-violence group Cease-Fire met students from Crane High School as they were dismissed. They rallied in front of the school then marched a block away to the spot where Ivy was shot and killed Friday.

"Bless us as we stand here, that our lives will be touched from this moment on, and that you will allow us to be peacemakers and ministers of reconciliation on these streets," said Rev. Marshall Hatch, Cease Fire.

Ivy was killed in front of 12 witnesses, according to what was said in court over the weekend.

"The people need to pretty much acknowledge the fact they have a problem up here because there's been a problem in this community the last 10 years," said Tio Hardiman, Cease Fire.

At the start of school and the end of school, more police officers were around the school. There were also more parents who came to Crane High School to ensure their students got home safely.

"I'm very concerned about him coming home from school after school. This is why I'm out here today to meet him because of what had happened to make sure he got home safely," said parent Sharon Key.

One of the Cease-Fire organizers said he met with Crane's principal Monday and offered some conflict resolution seminars for their teachers and students to try and reduce some of the violence that people are talking about.