CHICAGO (CBS) —  “He went hunting.”

That’s the gruesome way prosecutors described the actions of Darrell Johnson, the man now charged with shooting and killing a nine-year-old boy.

CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey was in court and reports from the shooting scene with what she’s learned.

Janari Ricks’ family said they knew Darrell Johnson because he grew up in the area and he had a distinctive limp. Prosecutors said it was actually that old injury from a shooting that gave him away. He’s being held with no bond.

Balloons, flowers and candles have taken over the sidewalk in front of the Cabrini row houses. It’s the spot where prosecutors said nine-year-old Janari Ricks was standing, shaking hands with a friend when he heard shots on Friday night.

He turned to run away, but he was shot in the back and the arm and collapsed face first to the ground.

Janari’s cousin, Dwayne Ford said they knew

“Just to think about my little cousin laying there, a nine-year-old body getting hit with a bullet or two,” Ford said.

Prosecutors said 39-year-old Darrell Johnson was caught on surveillance cameras stopping multiple times peering through fences, as if he was looking for someone. After the shooting, witnesses saw him limping away from the scene. Johnson had the characteristic limp since he was shot several years ago in the leg and ankle.

Several witnesses, including an 18th District CPD officer identified Johnson by that limp. Ford said he would have recognized it, too.

“I mean, he grew up around here. Everybody knows everybody,” Ford said.

The CBS 2 Investigators dug through 16 years worth of arrests records for Johnson.

In 2005, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for attempted aggravated carjacking and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. He’d previously been sentenced in 2002 to probation for an aggravated battery.

Johnson also failed to appear in court eight times.

Judge Susana Ortiz based her decision to deny bond on that history. Janari’s family said it’s the first step to justice.

“We have a life sentence without Janari. It’s all about him. We have a life sentence without that little boy. Nine years old. We won’t see him again,” Ford said.

On Sunday, officers saw Johnson attempting to enter that same car that was caught on surveillance camera after the shooting and he was taken into custody.

His next court date is August 24.




Megan Hickey