No bond for man accused of shooting 11-year-old Takiya Holmes

SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE - The 19-year-old man charged in the shooting death of 11-year-old Takiya Holmes was aiming at people who were selling marijuana in a spot that he and others believed belonged to them, Cook County prosecutors said Wednesday.

Takiya was struck by a stray bullet to her right temple Saturday night at the Parkway Gardens and died Tuesday morning at Comer Children’s Hospital.

At a news conference to discuss the first-degree murder charges filed against Antwan C. Jones, police said he surrendered after he was identified by witnesses.

Jones, who wore a maroon jacket with a faux fur trimmed hood in court Wednesday, was ordered held without bond by Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesiel.

Takiya was sitting next to her 3-year-old brother in the back seat of her family’s mini van — her mother and aunt were in the front seats — when gunfire erupted about 7:51 p.m. Saturday in the 6500 block of South King Drive.

Jones pulled the trigger of a loaded semi-automatic handgun from inside the apartment complex after he and several Black Disciples went to confront the three people they thought were selling drugs on their territory, Assistant State’s Attorney Jamie Santini said.

He fired mutiple times across South Martin Luther King Drive in a diagonal direction at his rivals, Santini said.

Chicago Police Cmdr. Brendan Deenihan said detectives recovered video of the shooting, which occurred in the Parkway Gardens neighborhood, where Jones lives.

Detectives interviewed witnesses seen on the video, and witnesses identified Jones, police said. Takiya’s cousin, Andrew Holmes, an anti-violence activist who was at the news conference, said he reached out to Parkway Gardens residents personally.

Andrew Holmes said the cash reward offered for information in the case did not motivate the witnesses who cooperated with the police.

“Everyone we talked to, it wasn’t about the money. They were not worried about money,” Holmes said.

Jones was “well known” to Chicago Police, and had seven juvenile arrests and three arrests as an adult, police said. He apparently was shooting at rival gang members when the stray bullet hit the Holmes’ van, which had just pulled up second before Jones opened fire, said Brendan Deenihan, commander of Area Central detectives.

“Across the street, (Jones) saw three individuals he thought did not belong in the area and he chose to get a handgun… he chose to shoot at these individuals, obviously we know now he didn’t hit any of them,” Deenihan said.

The three men Jones was aiming at were nowhere near the van, Deenihan said.

“These are handguns, and when the bullets start flying they go everywhere,” Deenihan said.

Jones turned himself to police after Andrew Holmes reached out to Parkway Gardens residents. Jones did not give a statement and requested a lawyer, police said.

Takiya’s age was key to witnesses coming forward instead of remaining silent, police said. Andrew Holmes said the cash reward offered for information in the case did not motivate the witnesses who cooperated with the police.

“Everyone we talked to, it wasn’t about the money. They were not worried about money,” Holmes said.

Jones was charged last year with two counts of misdemeanor domestic battery and a single count of criminal damage to property, according to Cook County court records.

He was also charged last year with misdemeanor assault to a teacher, although the case was later dismissed when the victim failed to show up in court, according to court records.

“I hope it’s the correct person and I’m hoping justice is served,” Patsy Holmes, Takiya’s grandmother, said Wednesday morning. “If it’s the right person I want him to be punished to the fullest.”

Nakeeia Williams, Takiya’s mother, was parked outside a dry cleaning store, where she worked, and planned to exchange cars with a co-worker when someone fired shots, Patsy Holmes said Sunday.

Takiya was pronounced dead by doctors early Tuesday morning, but had been kept on life support about four hours so that her organs could be used for transplants, said Patsy Holmes, adding that she hoped a relative with a kidney problem would be a donor match.

Wednesday morning, Patsy Holmes was on her way to Comer Children’s Hospital where the family was preparing to donate Takiya’s organs. She said she learned about the arrest in the pre-dawn hours.

Takiya’s cousin, anti-violence activist Andrew Holmes, had urged the community to come forward with information.

“The damage has been done,” he said. “We just want them to step up, turn someone in. The key to this is the community. We got to stop pointing fingers … because the killers came out of that community.”

Takiya was one of two girls shot within 25 minutes of each other on Saturday night, and the other girl who was wounded, Kanari Gentry-Bowers, remained in critical condition and on life support at Stroger Hospital.

Rochetta Tyler, Kanari’s aunt, said there has been no change in the girl’s condition. She was on her way to visit Kanari Wednesday morning.

“We just pray to God for a miracle,” she said. “That would really be a miracle. Basically, we are just waiting.”

They were two of three children shot in the last four days; on Tuesday, 2-year-old Lavontay White was shot and killed while riding in a car with a 26-year-old man and 25-year-old woman.

The car was in the 2300 block of South Kenneth when another vehicle drove past and someone got out, pulled out a weapon and fired shots, authorities said.

“One victim of one shooting is one too many, but when innocent children are caught in the crossfire of gun violence and young people have their childhood stolen by stray bullets, our consciences are shaken and our hearts are broken,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in an emailed statement Tuesday.