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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot imposes curfew for unaccompanied minors following another fatal shooting

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot presides on March 23, 2022, during a City Council meeting at City Hall.


Chicago Tribune staff

Chicago Tribune

The 17-year-old boy who was arrested immediately after the fatal shooting of Seandell Holliday, 16, at The Bean in Millennium Park Saturday night has been charged in connection Holliday’s death, Chicago police said.

The 17-year-old was charged on suspicion of second-degree murder, aggravated unlawful use of a loaded weapon and aggravated battery involving use of a laser device on a firearm, authorities said.

He was one of two people detained in the park shortly after Holliday was shot around 7:30 p.m., which is also when hundreds of teens were moving through the area, creating a disturbance and prompting a large police response. More than two dozen juveniles eventually were arrested.

But the 17-year-old specifically was seen on video in an “altercation” with Holliday just before a gunshot was heard, according to a police report.

He also ran from police and was found in possession of a weapon that had “one shell casing that had stove-piped,” it said.

Saturday’s shooting happened about 7:30 p.m. in the 200 block of East Randolph Street. Around the same time, police were responding “in the area of downtown and Millennium Park” to what they deemed a large crowd “disturbance,” involving approximately 400 to 500 teenagers, according to estimates.

Holliday was shot at least once in the chest and paramedics rushed him to Lurie Children’s Hospital, initially in critical condition, according to Larry Merritt, a Fire Department spokesman. He was pronounced dead at the hospital at 8:12 p.m., according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

It wasn’t clear how many of the hundreds of teenagers estimated to be involved in the downtown disturbance were nearby when the shooting occurred but the police report suggests Holliday and the shooter were standing in a group when they appeared to begin arguing. The report, citing police and Park District video surveillance that captured the shooting, said: “The victim, along with numerous other individuals, appear to be in an altercation with the (17-year-old) … near The Bean in Millennium Park.

“The crowd, along with the victim, follows (the 17-year-old) toward the exit at Madison and Michigan. At this point, the victim jumps onto the back of (the 17-year-old). A shot is heard,” and the suspected shooter ran south through the park where he was taken into custody a short distance away, according to the police report.

A second male, whose age was not listed in the police report, also was “observed in close proximity to (the 17-year-old) at the time of his arrest.” He also was seen pulling a gun from his waistband, but the police report notes he only took out the weapon after Holliday had been shot. When he saw officers coming toward him he also took off running, the report said, but he was stopped and detained after a brief foot chase.

The gun the second male pulled from his waistband was a ghost gun, meaning it does not have a serial number and can’t be traced, according to the police report. It was not immediately clear whether police had filed charges against the male with the ghost gun. Part of a statement issued by Mayor Lori Lightfoot Sunday night, however, seemed to focus on the guns found immediately after Holliday was shot.

“I am also calling upon the Chicago Police Department to work with our federal partners to accelerate gun traces for all firearms found in the hands of minors and to swiftly bring criminal charges against any adult who has provided a firearm to a person under the age of 18,” it said.

The declaration largely was overlooked because it was tucked into Lightfoot’s statement with a much more significant, controversial and headline-grabbing policy change: The mayor has banned unaccompanied minors from visiting Millennium Park after 6 p.m. from Thursday through Sunday — a move aimed at keeping large crowds of teenagers from continuing to create chaos heading into summer. Police have already had to contain large crowds at North Avenue Beach that flowed into neighborhood streets, as well as respond to a gathering in Jackson Park last week in which eight people were shot in two shootings.

“This new policy will be strictly enforced and violations will be dealt with swiftly. All of our residents and visitors under the age of 18 are welcome at the Park during the evening hours as long as they are accompanied by at least one responsible adult,” according to Lightfoot’s statement.

The move sparked almost immediate backlash, including criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. Edwin Yohnka, the ACLU’s director of communications and public policy, said the ban suggests the park should not be available to all Chicago residents.

“The vague description — relying on an undefined ‘responsible adult’ — allowing young people to be present in the park and the promise of strict enforcement will result in unnecessary stops and arrests and further strain relations between CPD and young people of color,” Yohnka said.

The ban on unaccompanied teens also comes at a sensitive time for the city and for the mayor. Downtown Chicago still hasn’t fully recovered from the economic turmoil unleashed by COVID-19 or two rounds of looting in the summer of 2020 and it has experienced surging crime that has concerned the business community, residents and City Hall. Lightfoot, who is widely expected to seek reelection, has been under pressure to address city violence and mayhem that spiked dramatically in 2020 and remains high.

The teen is expected in juvenile court Monday. Check back for updates.

©2022 Chicago Tribune. Visit chicagotribune.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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