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Man charged in murder of 15 year-old killed on birthday last year

Updated: September 27, 2012 6:14PM

When Jovany Diaz was murdered on his 15th birthday last year, a witness in the West Humboldt Park shooting was initially afraid to come forward and identify the alleged gunman, according to authorities.

“Fearing for their safety, that person delayed informing the police until several months later,” assistant Cook County state’s attorney Julie Nikolaevskaya said.

That tip in addition to another witness who identified the shooter fleeing from the scene led authorities this week to charge 20-year-old Karl Allen with murder, police said.

Allen, of the 4400 block of West West End, was arrested Tuesday on the street in the 1300 block of North Kildare. On Thursday he was ordered held without bail for the June 13, 2011 murder at the corner of Kildare and Hirsch.

Jovany wasn’t in a gang, his family has insisted.

But a year before he was gunned down on the sidewalk, Jovany got in a fight at Amundsen High School and badly beat up a classmate — allegedly a Spanish Lord gang member — whose brother vowed revenge, a Chicago Police source told the Sun-Times at the time.

Prosecutors Thursday didn’t reveal a motive for the murder but said Allen had exited a vehicle the night of the shooting and shot several times in the direction of Jovany and his 19-year-old relative before fleeing in the car.

Jovany’s relative suffered a graze wound to his hand.

During a memorial service for Jovany on the same block the next day, another gunman opened fire and injured a 24-year-old man.

Sun-Times reporter Kim Janssen had been covering the aftermath of Jovany’s slaying when he saw a man fire two shots in the air before pointing his gun south on Kildare, firing more shots.

Michael Martinez, 24, is currently serving a 10-year sentence for that shooting.

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