No bail for man charged with killing of 2 teens out buying candy at South Side gas station

A Cook County judge on Friday denied bail to a man accused of killing two teenagers last weekend while they bought candy at a gas station in South Chicago.

Laroy Battle, 19, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and possession of a controlled substance, according to Deputy Chief Brendan Deenihan.

Jasean Francis, 17, and Charles Riley, 16, were “very good kids from really excellent families,” Deenihan said. They had gone to a gas station Saturday afternoon in the 7900 block of South Luella with a third friend to buy candy when they ran into Battle.

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Though they didn’t know Battle, who is 6-foot-3, they commented on how tall he was, Deenihan said, before they bought their candy and left the store.

That’s when Battle followed them out and fired nine rounds at the teenagers, striking Francis and Riley, Deenihan said. Both boys were pronounced dead at the University of Chicago Medical Center. The third teen was not struck, Chicago police said.

Battle was arrested Wednesday at a motel in west suburban Schiller Park, after community members identified surveillance images of him to police, Deenihan said. Battle allegedly admitted that he was the man seen on camera but never offered a motive in the shooting.

Photos of the person wanted for the alleged murder of two teens June 20, 2020, in South Chicago. | Chicago police

Battle has three previous arrests and one previous conviction for unlawful use of a weapon, for which he was sentenced to probation, Deenihan said.

“They asked him how tall he was, and hoped to be that tall some day,” Deenihan said. “Obviously, we’ll never see the full growth of these poor children.”

Laroy Battle

Riley and Francis were among 12 minors who were shot, five of them fatally, during a bloody Father’s Day weekend that saw 104 total people shot.