Man charged in teen girl's shooting death

February 23, 2013 3:34:45 PM PST
A man has been arrested and charged in the murder of 18-year-old Frances Colon and it comes as Chicago Police make plans to increase the number of officers working overtime to fight crime.

Investigators say Larry Luellen, Jr. is a gang banger who managed to shoot the Clemente High School student as he was trying to take out a rival gang member.

Chicago police say they got the right man.

"We've got people that are in the community that are afraid to come forward," said Tom Byrne, Chicago Police Department Chief of Detectives. "We rely on those good people, like in this case, to call us anonymously to set us in the right direction."

Luellen Jr., 34, of Chicago has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of the Clemente High school student.

Police say the Frances was gunned down by a bullet meant for someone else.

Investigators say the alleged gang member was firing at a drug dealer he'd had an argument with before striking the college-bound senior.

The dozen or so people who showed up in court in support of Luellan, who left his bond hearing without comment after he was ordered held Saturday without bail.

The arrest comes as police officials ask 400 officers and 40 sergeants to work overtime on their days off to help fight crime.

City officials say the cost is included in the 2013 budget.

Last year Chicago had more than 500 murders for the first time in four years.

"We've done an analysis of where crime is most likely to happen," said Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. "We've over-saturating those neighborhoods. We've been doing that for about three weeks and it seems to be working very, very well."

Meanwhile, hundreds of teens came together to come up with ideas about how to stop the violence.

The Chicago Youth Congress convened as a part of the Mikva Challenge, an ongoing effort to get young people involved in the democratic process.

"Youth are the experts on issues in the city that affect youth," said Emma Goldberg. "We don't get our voices heard nearly enough when it comes to finding solutions to those issues."