A 15-year-old boy is charged with killing a young nursing student last winter while she was shopping when he and two others opened fire at an Avalon Park convenience store.
The shooters missed their target, an unarmed man inside the store, and instead struck five innocent bystanders in the Feb. 25 attack, Cook County prosecutors said in court Thursday.
Jaya Beemon, 18, was killed and four others were wounded: an 18-year-old woman, a 17-year-old girl and two men, ages 19 and 63.
The teen, who is not being named because he is charged as a juvenile, faces more than a dozen charges, including murder, attempted murder and aggravated battery with a handgun.
Judge Linda Perez ordered the boy held at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center during his initial hearing Thursday.
Surveillance video released after the shooting showed the teen and two still unidentified people pull up outside Avalon Food Mart at 79th Street and Avalon Avenue in a Chrysler 300 sedan. They walk past a fence and through the store’s parking lot to the front door of the store, prosecutors said.
High-quality surveillance footage clearly captured the teen’s face as he approaches the building, but the faces of the other shooters were obscured because they were wearing masks, prosecutors said.
After opening the door to the store, all three began shooting — firing at least 22 rounds into the busy market, prosecutors said.
Beemon was struck in the neck and later died at University of Chicago Hospital, prosecutors said. Other victims suffered gunshot wounds to the back, chest and arms.
One of the surviving victims later identified the teen by his nickname “Little D,” prosecutors said.
The boy was taken into custody Wednesday.
A private defense attorney declined to offer additional information about his client during the hearing.
He was expected back in court Dec. 29.
Shortly after the shooting, the victim’s mother, Nyisha Beemon, was briefly charged with resisting arrest after she allegedly kicked a police officer while being dragged from the emergency room.
Prosecutors later dropped the charges, claiming the charges had been filed without their review.
Nyisha Beemon told the Chicago Sun-Times that she was grieving the loss of her daughter and that the “charges were bogus.”
A relative of Beemon was kicked out of the live-streamed hearing Thursday after repeatedly making comments and loudly arguing with the judge when she was reminded not to speak.
The argument came after the judge had noted that the boy could face a range of penalties, including probation — leading Beemon’s relative to shout that if the judge released the boy on probation, he “can murder your children.”