CHICAGO (CBS) — A 17-year-old accused in the murder of a 73-year-old Vietnam veteran killed during a carjacking in Hyde Park was denied bond in court Satruday.RealTime Weather Alert: Wet and Windy Monday Morning, Flooding Possible
Witnesses told police two carjackers tried to take Cooper’s vehicle, and punched him in the head, according to UCPD. Cooper was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, according to police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
It has been three days since Cooper lost his life in the parking lot of the Kimbark Plaza strip mall on East 53rd Street in Hyde Park.
Prosecutors said Harris and the 17-year-old stole his keys, punched, and pushed Cooper in an attempted carjacking, which the Vietnam veteran did not survive. He was pronounced dead shortly afterward at the nearby University of Chicago Medical Center.
It was a horrific daytime crime that has shaken the entire community.
“I’m not surprised,” said Cooper’s daughter, Keinika Carlton. “My dad was that type of guy. He touched everybody. He made an impact.”
Carlton said her father was out running errands at Hyde Park Produce at the shopping center when he was attacked.
On Friday, we told you Harris was on probation for an aggravated carjacking conviction just two months ago. Now we’re learning his 17-year-old co-defendant had also been caught before.
He’d been released on electronic monitoring for a stolen car case last year. He failed to show up in court and a warrant was issued in December.
And his track record goes back even further.
When he was just 12, he was charged for unlawful possession of a gun. That same year, he had a theft case.READ MORE: 3 Killed, 24 Wounded In Weekend Shootings Across Chicago
When he was 14, he was charged with fleeing and eluding police. We learned he got probation for that case.
He was also charged with driving a stolen motor vehicle in 2020, and now, he faces felony murder and aggravated battery charges for the death of a Vietnam veteran.
This is the first time the teen been charged as an adult.
We learned the teen in the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services system. He previously attended Morgan Park High School — but isn’t in school right now.
“This impacts all of us, because all of us should feel responsible for it,” said Marquinn McDonald of Watch Guard Chicago. “We all need to be connecting with these babies.”
This case hits McDonald and his group hard. They’ve been standing guard at gas stations on the South Side of the city for 26 weeks in a row, hoping to discourage carjackers.
McDonald and his team said they have been shaken by the growing number of juvenile suspects charged for these crimes – so much so that they’ve started a mentoring program for 16- to 24-year-olds.
The hope is they can engage with kids before they make a life-changing mistake.
“It’s an all-hands-on-deck situation for these kids,” McDonald said.
The judge in this case said he was denying bond for the 17-year-old because there’s a reasonable concern he might not appear in court. He has been AWOL for the last seven months.MORE NEWS: Man, Woman Shot In Vehicle On Kedzie Avenue In East Garfield Park
His next court date is Aug. 4.