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Teen shot friend who wouldn’t join gang, prosecutors say

Updated: March 29, 2013 1:28PM

A South Side teenager allegedly shot and seriously wounded a video game buddy because he expressed no interest in joining a gang.

“I’m gonna do what I have to do,” Cook County prosecutors said River Williams proclaimed before shooting the 15-year-old victim six times in the chest, arms and legs.

“It’s over for you.”

Minutes before on Nov. 27, the pair had been playing video games at Williams’ home, assistant Cook County state’s attorney Joell Zahr said.

Williams’ father later took the two boys to 45th and Marshfield where Williams greeted four Hispanic males and shook their hands, Zahr said.

Williams assured his friend he knew the group and they all went to a nearby park, Zahr said.

At some point, the victim saw one of the Hispanic males hand Williams a gun, which Williams proceeded to place in his waistband and cover with his shirt, Zahr said.

Then, while walking to a store at 46th and Damen, Williams allegedly asked his friend if he wanted to be a “Latin Saint.”

The friend said, “no,” but Williams, 15, repeated the question, Zahr said.

This time the boy froze and did not answer, prompting Williams to fire at his friend, Zahr said.

Williams and the other males then ran away as the victim fell to the ground, Zahr said.

The injured boy was eventually able to get up and walk to a nearby gas station and seek help.

The victim, who had to undergo multiple surgeries, told authorities who shot him, Zahr said.

Williams also allegedly admitted to a family member that he had shot someone.

Williams, of the 6300 block of South Vernon, was previously found delinquent as a juvenile for aggravated robbery.

He was arrested for the November shooting at his father’s home, in the 10500 block of South Wabash, earlier this week.

Marcus Morris said his son is a freshman at Harlan Community Academy High School.

Williams had to repeat the ninth grade because “he wouldn’t take his butt to school and was always getting in trouble,” Morris said in a telephone interview following his son’s bond hearing Friday.

Morris said his son was picked up for the shooting in December but then was released.

Although Morris described Williams as a good kid, he also said he and his friends are often “toting guns.”

When asked if his son was in gang, Morris said, “That’s not something I’d know about.”

Judge Edward Harmening ordered Williams held in lieu of $800,000 bail.

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