Cabrini Green shooting: Suspect charged in fatal shooting of boy, 9, on Near North Side

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A suspect has been charged in connection with the shooting of a 9-year-old boy in Chicago's Cabrini Green neighborhood Friday night.

The child was identified as Janari Andre Ricks, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.

Tuesday morning, police announced charges against Darrell Johnson, 39, of Chicago. Police said Johnson is the one who fired the shots that killed the boy.

Police said at around 6 p.m. Friday in the 900-block of North Cambridge Avenue, a shooter approached the victim and several other people outside and opened fire in their direction. Police said the boy was playing in a parking lot not far from his home at the time of the shooting.

CPD Supt. Brown addresses weekend violence, fatal shooting of boy in Cabrini Green

EMBED More News Videos

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown speaks after a violent weekend in the city.

The boy was struck multiple times, including in the chest. The first responding officers performed CPR until the Chicago Fire Department arrived. The boy was then taken to Lurie Children's Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police said Johnson was taken into custody Sunday night without incident. He has been charged with first-degree murder . He was denied bond in a court hearing Tuesday afternoon and is next scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 24.
33 shot, 9 fatally in weekend violence

The I-Team has learned Johnson has an arrest history that dates back to 2001, including domestic battery and drug charges.

"I want to extend my deepest, deepest condolences to Janari's family and assure them and the entire city that bringing this little boy's killer to justice is the top priority of the Chicago Police Department," Superintendent David Brown said at a press conference Monday morning.

Police thanked the community for assistance in identifying the suspect.

Alderman Walter Burnett Jr. of the 27th Ward said the suspect's and the intended target's families come from the neighborhood but they don't live there anymore.

"The violence did not come from people who live in the row houses," the alderman said. "The violence came from people who come over to the row houses and do their dirt. We need to keep these people out of our neighborhood. We need to make sure that the good people that live in the row houses, that's why so many people stepped up to the plate to talk about who did this because they want peace down there."

Current residents know decades-long feuds still cause problems.

"At the core of this, there is some old animosity, right?" Cabrini Green community organizer J.R. Fleming said. "And we cannot have this kind of animosity driving violence In our community generation after generation."

Now there's a memorial for Ricks in Cabrini Green, and news of the charges was greeted with relief. The community wants the boy's killer brought to justice.

"Anybody who murders a child, it is our duty as older folks to protect the young people," Fleming said. "So it is our duty to make sure the community knows that they would be safe if they gave up the evidence Information that would lead to the arrest of Janari Ricks' killer."

Chicago police said they were able to make a quick arrest in the Friday night slaying. The court heard Chicago Housing Authority video placed Johnson at the scene, and showed him limping away -- a gait that is the result of a previous injury. But Johnson's lawyer said the video doesn't tell the whole story.

"The video shows a lot, but it does not show the shooting." Steve Greenberg said. "And he had enemies, but there's nothing to prove that he did it."

But Ricks' uncle said the boy should not have been caught in the middle.

"My nephew didn't deserve that; he was a real angel already because if you met him, he was so smart," Ricks' uncle Kenton Ricks said. "And he was 'yes sir, yes sir, no ma'am.'"
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.