CHICAGO – Several teen suspects in the Chicago viaduct shooting of an unarmed high school basketball player likely won’t be getting out of jail any time soon.
Three of the suspects – who are being tried as adults – were held without bond at a court hearing Tuesday, and a fourth suspect was held on a $2 million bond, the Sun-Times Media Wire reports.
Tarik Brakes, 16, and his brother Deafro Brakes, 17, along with 17-year-olds Isiah Pen and Carlos Johnson allegedly concocted a plan to ambush pedestrians and rob them at gunpoint in a viaduct on West 63rd Street Saturday afternoon.
The group allegedly robbed two men before encountering twin brothers Demacio and Demario Bailey as they walked to Demacio’s basketball practice at Johnson College Prep shortly after noon. When the brothers resisted, Demario was left with a fatal gunshot to the chest, according to media reports.
“The robbers told the brothers to ‘give it up’ and started going through their pockets, authorities said. There was a struggle and Demario yelled at the robbers, ‘Get off my brother,’ and pushed Johnson away, police said. One of the robbers pulled a gun and shot Demario in the chest, they said,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
When Demacio heard the gunshot he ran.
“After reaching the end of the viaduct, the 15-year-old victim realized that his brother wasn’t with him and immediately returned to the viaduct,” Assistant State’s Attorney Jamie Santini said at the Tuesday court hearing, according to the Sun-Times. “He found his twin brother lying face up mortally wounded from a gunshot to the upper chest.”
Authorities haven’t identified which teen in the group allegedly pulled the trigger, but Santini said Tarik Break was the last one seen holding the gun.
Chicago Transit Authority and police cameras show the four teen suspects heading toward the viaduct before the shooting and fleeing afterwards. Johnson was arrested about an hour after the shooting, and the other three suspects, who live close to each other on the city’s South Side, were arrested Sunday, the Tribune reports.
Tarik Brakes attends Englewood High School, and his brother Deafro goes to McKinley High School. It’s unclear where or if Penn and Johnson attend classes.
At Johnson’s arraignment Monday, the Bailey brothers’ grandmother, Bernice Fitzpatrick, explained to the Tribune that the murder was the family’s worst nightmare. Fitzpatrick and the boys’ mother had just recently allowed the twins to venture out more on their own, she said.
“Our children have always been dropped off and picked up and escorted,” Fitzpatrick said. “They were starting to say, ‘Ma, we can do things on our own.’
“We promised them we would give them a little more freedom,” she said. “We let them go for one month. I don’t know what we’re supposed to do now.”
The boys, who also have two other brothers – a 3-year-old and a 19-year-old who attends Northeastern Illinois University, have always been honorable young men who were engaged in numerous school activities, Fitzpatrick told the Tribune.
“They were involved in everything,” she said. “Whatever (the school) need them for or they could find … that would be an outlet.”
Just days after Demario’s death, Demacio returned to the basketball court Monday to play in his brother’s honor.
“He said, ‘Mama, Issy (Demario) would want me to play ball,’” Delores Bailey, the boy’s mother, told reporters at the game.
“He said, ‘I’m going to live for my brother, mama. I’m going to the pros,’” she said, according to the Tribune.