CHICAGO (CBS) — A man has been charged with shooting two people in the Bronzeville neighborhood over the weekend – killing one of them – after turning himself in to police overnight.
Lamont Grant, 34, has been charged with one count each of first-degree murder, attempted first degree murder, and aggravated battery. He was denied bail in a court appearance Wednesday.
The Grant’s grandmother Cynthia Adams left court with her face stained with tears.
“He feels remorse for that,” said Adams.
Police said Grant was identified as the person who shot and killed 54-year-old Ralph McNeal on Saturday, in the 2900 block of South State Street. Grant also allegedly shot a 26-year-old man who was critically wounded in the attack.
Rev. Corey Brooks, pastor of New Beginnings Church in the Woodlawn neighborhood, said Grant turned himself into police after confessing to Brooks, and praying with him at the church overnight.
“He wants me to give a message to [McNeal’s] family because he really was distraught about what happened to Mr. McNeal,” Brooks told WBBM Newsadio’s Bernie Tafoya.
Brooks said Grant suffers from a mental disorder and had not been taking his medication.
“Turning a brother into the police for shooting and killing two people we just prayed I gave him the plan of salvation he accepted,” Brooks wrote on Twitter. “We prayed at the church now we on our way to the police station.”
Brooks said the man’s family contacted him after they urged him to come forward. The pastor said the man, who suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, had been attacked on Friday and was not in his right mind when he opened fire.
Brooks also said Grant made a video “encouraging young men to stop shooting.”
The daughter of McNeal wants the focus kept on their murdered love one, not on Grant’s sudden decision to come clean.
“At the end of the day my daddy is gone, and he is still here and it hurts me,” said his daughter TaCarra McNeal.
“We don’t wanna hear about Corey Brooks. We’re talking about justice for Ralph McNeal my brother,” said Meredetise Wilson.
The location where the victims were shot was along the Safe Passage route for Drake Elementary School, which is being consolidated with Urban Prep Academies’ Bronzeville Campus, at 2710 S. Dearborn St.
The Safe Passage routes were mapped out to keep kids out of harm’s way as they cross gang boundaries on their way to and from their new schools, following the closing of 49 elementary schools this summer.
However, although the Safe Passage routes have been mapped out for parents and students; the police officers, and Safe Passage workers, and volunteers who will man those routes won’t be staffing them until school begins on Aug. 26.