A Chicago man is accused of killing two teenagers in a grocery store this month after being asked how tall he was, authorities said Thursday.
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Reportedly, Laroy Battle, 19, opened fire on Jasean Francis, 17, and Charles Riley, 16, in an ally behind him around 5:00 PM. on June 20 after they and a friend returned home buying candy from the store after a brief meeting with the suspect.
“The victims commented, because, given that Battle is quite tall, and asked how tall he was and you know, he hoped to be so tall one day,” Deputy Chief Detectives Brendan Deenihan told WLS TV in Chicago. “And unfortunately, obviously we will never see the full growth of these poor children.”
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Teens, described as “very good children from really excellent families,” mothers reportedly asked to buy candy at the store. They didn’t know Battle, but after asking about his 6-foot-3 height, he reportedly followed them out and shot nine shots at the teenagers, police said.
Francis was shot in the back, chest and left hand, while Riley was shot in the back and left leg. Both were taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where they were declared dead, according to the station. The third teenager was not affected
“He was a child,” said Latonya Pettit, Francis’s aunt. “I liked video games, snacks. It was his thing. He would have walked into this hospital gift shop every day and bought snacks.”
The battle was arrested after community members identified a suspect’s surveillance video that had been released by the police, Deenihan said.
“For community members who came forward with the information – thank you. Detectives were able to quickly identify the Battle, but it was the help we received from the community that led to his arrest,” he wrote. the Chicago police chirping.
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The suspect – who has three previous arrests and a previous conviction for illegal use of a weapon – admitted that he was the person seen on the camera but failed to offer a reason for the fatal shooting, according to the Chicago Sun-Times .
Riley and Francis were reportedly among the 12 minors shot during a violent Father’s Day weekend that reportedly saw 104 people shot in the city.
Violence in Chicago last weekend also saw 13 people killed during the shootings, including a 1-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl, reports said.
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The battle was charged with two first-degree murder charges and possession of a controlled substance, according to police.
Bradford Betz of Fox News contributed to this report