Source: Man in custody for Church’s shooting that killed 2, hurt 5
BY TINA SFONDELES AND KIM JANSSEN Staff Reporters December 29, 2011 9:02AM
Jawan Ross, 16, was fatally shot on Dec. 27, 2011, at the Church's Chicken at 66th and Halsted. | Provided photo
Updated: December 29, 2011 2:10PM
A suspect remained in custody Thursday afternoon in connection with a deadly shooting at a packed Englewood fast-food restaurant that killed two and wounded five others, sources said.
The 23-year-old man, arrested Wednesday afternoon, has an extensive criminal background, a law enforcement source said.
But no charges had been filed as of Thursday afternoon, and the source said detectives are seeking more witnesses to the shooting.
The shooting at Church’s Chicken at 66th and Halsted happened Tuesday about 6:50 p.m., during the dinnertime rush on a night featuring 99-cent specials.
Killed in the attack was 17-year-old Dantril Brown, who made it to a side exit of the packed restaurant after the gunman ran in and started shooting, his family said Wednesday. He didn’t make it any further.
“The door was locked,” Brown’s aunt and godmother Linda King said. “He was at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Brown, a student at Prosser Career Academy, and Jawan Ross, 16, a student at Robeson High School, were named Wednesday by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office as the two teens killed in the wild shooting just blocks from their Englewood homes. Five other victims — including a friend of Brown’s — survived the mayhem with bullet wounds, authorities say.
The restaurant, where workers were protected behind bulletproof glass, was closed Wednesday. Chicago Police said Tuesday that the incident began when the gunman got in an argument with another man outside the restaurant, then escalated when he followed the second man inside and started shooting. Video evidence has been recovered.
Families of both dead teens gathered at houses nearby Wednesday to mourn what they described as typical teenage boys.
Ross, of the 6600 block of South Stewart, was a basketball fanatic and cutup from a large, disciplined family, relatives said. He loved fixing things, building bicycles and joking with his 15 siblings, aunt Latonya Ross said.
While his sisters went to a White Castle down the block to grab food Tuesday night, Ross made the fateful decision to take advantage of the special at Church’s, she said.
“He was there alone. He just got caught in the middle of something he had nothing to do with,” his aunt added. She said the violence plaguing Englewood “is crazy — it’s got to stop.”
Brown’s family said he had been arrested once before for staying out past curfew. But King said Brown was not in a gang and that he was looking forward to going to college.
“This had nothing to do with any gang activity, at least not as far as Dantril was concerned, as far as we know,” she said.
Relatives described Brown, of the 6800 block of South Emerald, as a ladies man who also loved basketball and helped his mother raise his siblings while she struggled with breast cancer.
“I just want my brother back,” his little sister Queen said.