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Police question brother in shooting of autistic boy, 14

A Chicago Police Officer stguard outside shoot scene Tuesday afternoSouth Yale. February 21 2012 I Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

A Chicago Police Officer stand guard outside the shoot scene Tuesday afternoon on South Yale. February 21, 2012 I Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: March 23, 2012 8:19AM

A 14-year-old boy was shot to death on the South Side Tuesday afternoon, and investigators were questioning one of his brothers, police said.

Damion Rolle allegedly told his sister that his brother pulled the trigger, according to Damion’s grandmother Ida Grant, who described the shooting as accidental.

“His brother was playing with the gun, and it supposedly went off,” Grant said.

The shooting happened at 3:30 p.m. near West 70th and South Yale, police said. Damion died at 4:25 p.m. at the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital. Damion’s aunt, Janice Smith, said police took Damion’s older brother from the scene. Smith said both brothers were living with autism.

“They both have autism,” Smith told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I was worried about them before because they were acting up while their mom was at work.”

The boys’ mother works in the kitchen at the Great Lakes Naval Base, she said. The mother was raising three boys, a daughter and two grandchildren, Smith said. The boys’ father recently died of complications from a stroke, Smith said.

Smith described the mother as a hard-working, concerned parent. Smith said she had no idea where the weapon involved in the shooting might have come from. “My sister didn’t have weapons in her house. She didn’t even have a knife in their house because they had autism,” Smith said.

Smith added Damion and his two brothers allegedly were in foster care between 1999-2003 after Damion was “accidentally burned on his leg by an iron.” The state was unable to confirm if the boys were in foster care. The mother was not home at the time of the shooting, but the boys’ adult sister was, Smith said.

Contributing: Michael Lansu

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