Murder charge in shooting of teen at Bradley Park basketball court

SHARE Murder charge in shooting of teen at Bradley Park basketball court
screen_shot_2017_09_01_at_8_36_09_pm.png

Tororicius Berry | Chicago Police

On a sunny afternoon two weeks ago, Tororicius Berry walked up to Kejuan Thomas on a South Side basketball court and shot the 16-year-old dead, then stood over Thomas and continued firing, prosecutors said Friday.

Multiple witnesses, some as young as 10, told police they saw Berry walk out from behind the Bradley Park fieldhouse toward the courts on the afternoon of Aug. 16, Assistant State’s Attorney Jamie Santini said at a bond hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building.

Berry fired at Thomas from close range, striking the teen in the head, the prosecutor said.

“As Kejuan Thomas lay mortally wounded on the basketball court (Berry) stood over the victim and continued to fire bullets directly into the 16-year-old, unarmed victim as multiple victims looked on,” Santini said.

Berry, 25, fled the scene. Thomas suffered wounds to his head, neck, shoulder and hand; he was dead before emergency medical workers arrived.

Three witnesses identified Berry as the shooter in a police lineup, Santini said, and another witness said they saw Berry fleeing the park with a gun around the time of the murder.

Judge Joseph Panarese ordered Berry held without bond on a charge of first-degree murder.

Santini offered no motive for the shooting. Court records identify Berry as a member of the Gangster Disciples street gang, but friends said Thomas was not in a gang.

The Tilden Career Academy sophomore got A’s and B’s and was on the school basketball team. He hoped to play his way into a college scholarship.

“He was a good kid, never a gangbanger,” his coach, Keith Johnson, said of Thomas days after the shooting. “He was a good kid and really loved basketball. He could also draw and dance reallywell.”

Thomas lived in Parkway Gardens, but frequently traveled the six miles to Bradley Park because he felt it was safer, friends said.

The Latest
“Because of the marketing and advertising of these kinds weapons, our lives will not be the same,” said Lorena Rebollar Sedano, who was shot in the foot and is one of those who filed suit Wednesday.
Twins move into second-place tie with Sox in AL Central
Wesneski held the Phillies to one run in five-plus innings.
Soderblom, the Hawks’ top prospect goalie, worked on his lateral quickness over the summer and showed it off while saving 31 of 33 shots Wednesday.
The rapper was in Chicago last month for a set at Riot Fest.