Four juveniles have now been charged as adults in the slaying of a 15-year-old boy, who was shot in the chest while walking with his twin brother, both students at Johnson College Prep on the South Side, to a basketball practice.
Police said the boy, Demario Bailey, was killed during a robbery over nothing more than a jacket, which the four suspects were trying to steal while rifling through the boys’ pockets looking for things to take.
The shooting of Demario happened Saturday afternoon, as he and his twin were confronted on the corner of State Street and West 63rd Street as Demario was walking with his brother to his basketball practice at Johnson College Prep, where Demario was a sophomore.
Four juveniles – Carlos Johnson, Isiah Penn, Deafro Brakes (all 17 years old), and Deafro’s brother Tarik Brakes, 16 – have been charged in the case with two counts felony attempted robbery, two counts felony robbery, and one felony murder count. They allegedly robbed the brothers after they had gotten off the No. 29/State bus. The charges come just days after Cook County Board President Teri Preckwinkle called for an end to automatic transfers of juveniles to adult court, saying the system was racially skewed against blacks and Latinos.
The alleged robbers stopped the boys and told them to “give it up”, according to authorities who said the suspects then began going through the Demario’s pockets before a struggled ensued.
After Demario demanded that the suspects “get off my brother,” and apparently pushed Johnson away, Demario Bailey was shot once in the chest.
“Demario did not deserve to die three days from his 16th birthday,” according to a statement from Principal Dr. Garland Thomas-David.
Johnson College Prep is working to create a link for people who would like to help in offsetting the financial burden for the family. In addition, Thomas-David said support services for students and team members would be available at the school.
The arrests came quick.
Carlos Johnson was arrested an hour after the incident just one block away, after witnesses at the scene allegedly gave police a description fitting the young man.
According to Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Jamie Santini, police cameras and CTA cameras show Johnson and others walking towards the location of the incident, and then fleeing immediately after. The other three suspects were arrested over the weekend at their South Side homes.
Johnson was ordered held without bail after his hearing on Monday. The other three suspects were due in court Tuesday.
At the scene, where a viaduct was closed off, friends, family and onlookers were overcome with grief and calls to for greater enforcement of gun laws. “Take the guns off the streets,” said one young woman. “Please.”
And after a game that the twin played in Monday evening, the boys’ mother stated to reporters, according to the Chicago Tribune: “Some of these kids do want to live. Give ’em a chance. We need to stick together, not jsut give up. And let’s live for our kids–and get them to where they need to be.”
The following video is from CBS-Chicago: