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Eddie Johnson says CPD vowed to catch alleged killer of cop’s son

Anthony Moore. | Chicago Police Department photo

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson briefly paused to gather his composure Friday as he spoke about how his detectives worked tirelessly since last summer to catch the person suspected of killing a police sergeant’s son who was home from college.

“Every officer in this department took his murder personally,” Johnson said, choking up. “And we vowed not to stop until we found his killer.”

Anthony M. Moore, 18, of the 7900 block of South Sawyer, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Arshell Dennis III, a journalism major at St. John’s University in New York. His father, Sgt. Arshell Dennis, once served with Johnson as a patrol officer in the Gresham District.

Dennis, 19, was shot to death and a friend was wounded while they sat on the porch of his parents’ South Side home on Aug. 14 shortly before he was going to return to college for his junior year.

Moore is charged with attempted murder in the shooting of Dennis’ 20-year-old friend, who was hit in the arm and chest.

Moore is expected to appear in bond court on Saturday at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse.

Police said Dennis and his friend were victims of mistaken identity. Moore and fellow gang members drove up to Dennis’ family’s home in the 2900 block of West 82nd in Wrightwood in stolen vehicles, police said.

They fired at the porch, believing they were targeting rival gang members, police said. But Dennis and his friends were not associated with gangs.

Detectives said Moore made statements to other people admitting his role in the killing and bragging that he killed an opposing gang member. Police said they were able to track the stolen vehicles with surveillance videos. The videos and “phone-data evidence” helped link Moore to the crime, police said.

Moore already was in the Cook County Jail, charged with possession of a stolen vehicle for swiping a Toyota Camry in southwest suburban Justice. On Jan. 6, Moore was charged with violating electronic monitoring the month before, according to court documents.

Arshell Dennis III. | Facebook
Arshell Dennis III. | Facebook

Moore was arrested six times since turning 18 in November, police said.

He also was arrested 11 times as a juvenile, starting in 2014. Those cases included a robbery and an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a source said.

“It should come as no surprise to anyone that this is not his first go-around with the criminal justice system,” Johnson said.

Arshell Dennis III, known as “Trey,” was entering his junior year as a journalism major at St. John’s University in New York City and was home visiting his family prior before starting a new school year when he was shot and killed last summer. | Facebook
Arshell Dennis III, known as “Trey,” was entering his junior year as a journalism major at St. John’s University in New York City and was home visiting his family prior before starting a new school year when he was shot and killed last summer. | Facebook“It should come as no surprise to anyone that this is not his first go-around with the criminal justice system,” Johnson said.

Johnson addressed Sgt. Dennis at a news conference at police headquarters where Moore’s arrest was announced Friday.

“To Arshell’s family, I know there is nothing we can ever do to make up for what happened. But I hope this will bring some sort of peace and closure to your family,” Johnson said.

“We are incredibly sorry for your loss.”

Johnson also renewed his call for tougher gun-sentencing laws, mentoring for at-risk teenagers, and more social services for disadvantaged neighborhoods.