Prosecutors decline to charge teen arrested in mass shooting at South Shore apartment
CHICAGO - Prosecutors declined to charge a young man identified as the gunman who burst into a South Shore apartment last month and opened fire during an apparent robbery attempt, killing a mother and her transgender daughter and wounding three others, including two other trans women.
Late Jan. 26, just three days after the mass shooting, Chicago police executed a warrant at the same apartment complex in the 2900 block of East 78th Street, where the 19-year-old suspect also lives, according to an arrest report obtained through a public records request.
He had been identified in photo lineups as the person who forced his way into the apartment, demanded cash and shot the five victims, according to the report. He was arrested but was ultimately released from custody on Jan. 29.
The arrest report shows felony charges were declined and the case was marked as a continuing investigation by the Cook County state’s attorney. The Sun-Times isn’t identifying the suspect because he hasn’t been charged with a crime.
A spokesperson for the prosecutors’ office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. A police spokesperson would only say the investigation remains "open and active."
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The suspect currently has two pending cases in Cook County court in which he respectively faces a felony count of residential burglary and a misdemeanor count of domestic battery, records show.
A police report for the mass shooting shows two people "kicked in the front door and began shooting" about 1:40 p.m. on Jan. 23. A witness told investigators that two males ran northbound from the scene wearing green camouflage.
Unique Banks, a 20-year-old transgender woman, and her mother Alexsandra Olmo, 43, were both killed in the afternoon attack on Jan. 23. They both lived in the apartment where they were killed, Banks’ father previously told the Sun-Times.
A law enforcement source said Olmo’s boyfriend and two other transgender women were wounded, one of whom drove to a nearby McDonald’s restaurant.
Banks’ father, Omar Burgos, said he hasn’t heard from police investigators or prosecutors, noting that it was news to him that a suspect had been arrested and released without charges. "That’s messed up," said Burgos, who lives in Florida and had dreamed of bringing his daughter there to live with him.
He noted that he traveled to Chicago to attend his daughter’s funeral, but he wasn’t able to glean much information about the circumstances of the shooting or the investigation.
"Something must’ve happened there because that’s a weird story," he said in light of the news of the arrest. "There’s more to the puzzle."