CHICAGO (CBS) — The search continued Sunday night for the killer of a 9-year-old boy outside the Cabrini Rowhouses.
CBS 2 has learned the reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the person responsible is at $4,000 and counting.
On Sunday night, some community leaders said police know whom they’re looking for in the shooting that killed Janari Ricks.
Chicago Police had not confirmed that information Sunday night, adding their investigation continues – and is getting help from reward money and calls for action.
Candles, pictures, and words of loss lingered silently on the 900 block of North Cambridge Avenue more than two days after Janari was shot and killed while playing outside.
However, as CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross reported, the calls for the person responsible for a family’s grief have grown much louder. Community leaders held a news conference on Sunday.
“Every day that I turn on the news, there is a child that’s done got shot,” said Onique Walker, who also lost a son to gun violence.
Community activist Andrew Holmes was raising his voice and nearly in tears.
“You think it’s a joke, but these babies, these are our babies!” Holmes said. “I may not stay in Cabrini-Green, but these are our babies!”
“We’re asking the shooter – turn yourself in,” said Raymond Richard of Brothers Standing Together. “There’s a ($4,000) reward over your head, and it’s going up as we speak.”
“I’m asking you to work those phones, do what you got to do to find out what damn rathole this fool is in!” Holmes said.
Community leaders’ outrage continued Sunday, following the Friday shooting that killed Janari. The Cabrini Rowhouses where he was shot are the last remaining section of the once-sprawling and once-infamous Cabrini-Green public housing development.
On Saturday, Janari’s mother, Jalisa Ford, described her final conversation with her child to reporters, including CBS 2’s Marissa Parra.
“He says, ‘Mom, can I come outside and play?’ and I said, ‘Sure,’” Ford said Saturday. “And when he went out, he never came back home.”
Since mid-June, at least 16 children under the age of 10 have been shot in Chicago. That includes a baby only 10 months old recovering from gun violence after being shot on the Bishop Ford Freeway, and five cases in which the gunfire proved fatal.
In addition to Janari, those cases included the following:
- On July 4th, 7-year-old Natalia Wallace was shot in the head while playing in her grandmother’s front yard in the South Austin neighborhood. Police and prosecutors say a group of gunmen opened fire on the 100 block of North Latrobe Avenue, in apparent retaliation for an earlier shooting that killed a brother of one of the shooters. The accused getaway driver is being held without bail on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated battery. Police are looking for the three shooters.
- On June 28th, 10-year-old Lena Nunez was killed when a stray bullet pierced the window of an apartment in Logan Square, as a group of men apparently was shooting at someone else on the street outside.
- On June 27th, 1-year-old Sincere Gaston was shot and killed while riding home from the laundromat with his mother in Englewood. His mother was also grazed by a bullet. Police have said the shooter may have been targeting Sincere’s father, who was not in the car.
- On June 20th, 3-year-old Mekhi James was shot in the back while riding in his stepfather’s SUV on the 600 block of North Central Avenue. He was taken to the hospital in serious condition, but later was pronounced dead. Police have said the shooter was targeting the 27-year-old stepfather.
“I’m not mad at nobody, I just need answers on why,” Janari’s mother said Saturday. “When is it going to stop?”
“Don’t keep pointing the fingers at detectives or police! Point the finger where the shooter’s at! Point the finger where he hiding at!” Holmes said. “Not saying they ain’t doing their job! But it you know where they’re hiding at, give up the information where they’re hiding at so they get him!”
“You all know who the shooters is! You saw!” said Marvin Edwards, president of 100 Men Standing. “Open your damn mouth and turn his ass in!”
“We know better. We know better,” Walker said. “We need to do better.”
The investigation continued Sunday night.