No charges for woman who shot boy, 12

September 29, 2010 (CHICAGO)

The boy, who was hit in the arm, and his 13-year-old friend have been charged with aggravated assault for allegedly throwing bricks and breaking a window in the home at 76th and Coles around 11 p.m. Tuesday.

The homeowner, a 68-year-old woman, will not been charged in the shooting, police said. Officials determined she was defending herself.

"Naturally, she defended herself. They threw a brick through the window, and she gave them as much warning as I think she should," said Rafael Ramirez, neighbor.

The woman did not want to come out of her house Wednesday, but she said she acted out of fear and regrets what happened.

"She basically keeps to herself, but, you know, she stays back there, so when I see her, we go and talk. And from what I can tell, she's just a really nice person," said Jason Jones, neighbor.

Other in the neighborhood say the boys were just playing around. Some of the 12-year-old's friends call the homeowner an intolerant neighbor looking to lash out.

"She['s] mean because this, like, that house, she['s] always saying something, and these are little boys that she shoot at, some little kids," said Regine White, friend of the 12-year-old.

"Maybe he has something in his past around here. What child hasn't? But you just take your gun and shoot a child instead?" said Rhonda Jackson, neighbor.

"I saw the kids out earlier. They were outside throwing bricks. I told them I would call the police if they didn't leave," said South Shore resident Jennifer Ramirez.

Some neighbors say the wounded boy has a reputation for being a troublemaker.

"He broke her window. He set her grill on fire. He started a fire last year across the street at the row houses. I had to call the fire department," said Hilda Brunt, the suspected shooter's neighbor. "I know it's the same boy."

"The woman who did the shooting said she had enough. They set garbage cans on fire, her barbecue pit. This is not the first time," said Frenchie Johnson, the suspected shooter's neighbor.

The boy's family disagrees. They claim the window was already broken by the time the boy and his friends walked by.

"I hope [she] [goes] to jail. My blood pressure has been going sky high thinking about what could have happened," said Donna Virges, shooting victim's grandmother.

Police say that both boys had bricks in their hands but only the 12-year-old boy who was shot was successful in breaking the window. The shooting victim was treated and released.

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