5 Charged In Shooting That Killed Boy, 13
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UPDATED 10/14/11 1:50 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Four men and a woman have been charged in a shooting that killed a 13-year-old boy as he played basketball in a city park during the summer.
Aramis Beachem, 22; Vito Richmond, 17; and Jamal Streeter, 18, all of Chicago, are each charged with first-degree murder in the Aug. 3 drive-by shooting that killed Darius Brown.
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“It’s a bittersweet day. I just want to thank everybody that had a part in this just to bring these guys into custody,” the victim’s mother, Stephanie Brown, told reporters outside court.
Two others are also charged in connection to the case. Clarence Whitelow, 29, is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, and Michelle Lawrence, 21, of DeKalb, is charged with insurance fraud.
The fraud charge was brought because Lawerence allegeldy disposed of the vehicle involved in the shooting and then filed a false insurance claim, News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli said.
Darius was a rising basketball star, about to enter the 8th grade at Holy Angels Elementary School, 750 E. 40th St. More than 800 people attended his funeral.
Following the shooting, police released surveillance video of a late-model white sedan heading south on State Street with two people inside, from which the shots were likely fired. Meanwhile, St. Sabina Church, Crime Stoppers, the group No Guns No Violence and Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) joined to offer a reward totaling $10,000 for information leading to the gunmen.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports
At Metcalfe Park, a memorial of plush toys was set up at the base of one of the basketball hoops. Meanwhile, while the two basketball courts were popular and well-used before Darius was killed, in recent months they have been virtually abandoned, the Chicago Reader reported last month.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.