October 26, 2020

9-year-old boy was playing outside before he was shot, killed on Near North Side

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CHICAGO — A 9-year-old boy who was shot and killed Friday evening on the Near North Side was playing outside before shots rang out.

On Saturday morning, the medical examiner identified the boy as Janari Ricks.

Around 6:45 p.m. Friday, authorities responded to the 900 block of North Cambridge for reports of a shooting. Ricks was in a parking lot playing with friends when a gunman opened fire in his direction.

Officials said the 9-year-old sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the body and was transported to Lurie Children’s Hospital. He succumbed to his injuries shortly after the shooting.

Police said a man walked up to a small crowd of people, opened fire and then ran off. Suspect information is not available at this time.

His mother, Jalisa Ford, said Ricks was inside all day until a friend asked him to play outside.

“He was in the house all day, he didn’t come out ’til maybe after 5 when one of his friends knocked on the door to ask if he could come outside to play,” Ford said. “And I allowed him to come out to play with his friends. He never made it back to the house.”

Police said the boy was not the intended target.

“These kids have a place to play and that is on the outside. That is by their home,” community activist Andrew Holmes said. “To the shooter, how are you going to live knowing knowing that you just killed a baby?”

On Saturday afternoon, a vigil was held near where he was shot and killed.

 “I want justice,” his mother said. My son didn’t deserve it.”

Ricks’ death was part of a violent July in Chicago, as the city recorded 105 homicides and 584 shootings.

No suspects are in custody as Area Three detectives continue to investigate. If you have information, you can leave an anonymous tip at cpdtip.com.