Teen charged with first-degree murder in fatal shooting of 7-year-old boy on Near West Side

A teen has been charged in connection with the murder of a 7-year-old boy in Chicago’s Near West Side neighborhood.

The 16-year-old male was arrested Thursday at his home in the 1800 block of W. Monroe, less than 48 hours after the shooting. He's charged with the following, according to Chicago police: 

  • One felony count of first-degree murder
  • One felony count of first-degree murder - personally discharge a firearm that caused the death of victim
  • Two issuance of warrant

The teen is accused of fatally shooting Jai'mani Amir Rivera around 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Oakland Square apartments in the 2200 block of West Jackson Boulevard. 

A crime scene connected to the shooting was located across the street, outside of Crane High School.

The suspect reportedly shot at Jai'mani, striking him in the chest, before running from the scene. 

Two CPD field training officers and a probationary police officer found Jai'mani and performed life-saving measures before rushing him to the hospital in their patrol car. He later died from his injuries. 

Jai'mani Amir Rivera | Photo provided by family 

Thirteen shell casings were recovered at the scene and the firearm used in the shooting has not been recovered, according to CPD. 

Jai'mani was not the target of the shooting and the motive is still unknown. 

Police were able to track the suspect's movements before and after the shooting. District 12 officers recognized the suspect after he had an active warrant for failure to appear in court on a robbery offense.

The suspect was found at his home and was taken into custody. A stolen weapon that was not used in the shooting was recovered by officers at his residence. 

"We all understand this is senseless… We can't give you a confirmed motive for why this happened. There's no justification or explanation that would make it any better. This is the senselessness that we're talking about," said Chief of Detectives Antoinette Ursitti. 

"A 7-year-old child lost his life and we can't give you any justification for this offender's actions. We explained that he has a criminal history, we have him in custody… I understand everyone here is trying to understand what would lead anybody to shoot aimlessly, not know who you're gonna hit or what's going to happen. I wish I could tell you more but I can't," Ursitti added.

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson was not present at the press conference but issued this statement on the shooting arrest: 

"I want to again extend my deepest condolences to the family of Jai’mani Amir Rivera and all who loved him, and thank the Chicago Police Department for its efforts in this case. This senseless violence in our city is unacceptable and all offenders must be held accountable.

These killings tear at the very fabric of our society, shatter families, leave our neighborhoods shaken and our city in mourning. Nothing can ever replace the loss of a child, and I hope Jai’mani’s family finds some measure of closure in the apprehension and charging of the alleged offender today," Johnson said. 

 The suspect has a detention hearing scheduled for June 22. 

RELATED: Near West Side shooting: 7-year-old boy killed, police search for gunman