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Teen seeking Xanax shot man, stole car in Gresham, prosecutors say

Jayden Rankin, 17, faces multiple felony charges after allegedly meeting a couple in Gresham to purchase Xanax before shooting a man and stealing his car.

Leighton Criminal Court Building
Sun-Times file photo

A teenager allegedly seeking Xanax is accused of shooting a man and stealing his car Saturday in Gresham in a drug deal gone wrong, according to Cook County prosecutors.

Jayden Rankin, 17, posted on Facebook that he was looking to purchase Xanax and was contacted by a man and his girlfriend, who said they would sell the anti-anxiety medication to him, prosecutors said in court Monday at the Leighton Criminal Court Building.

The couple drove to 90th and Laflin streets Saturday afternoon to meet with Rankin, and when Rankin got into the car, the 20-year-old woman in the front seat turned around and gave Rankin a bar of Xanax, prosecutors said.

Instead of paying her, Rankin grabbed the woman’s purse from the front of the car, leading her 22-year-old boyfriend, who was in the front passenger seat, to begin fighting with him, prosecutors said. During the struggle, the woman’s boyfriend shouted that Rankin had a gun, prosecutors said.

Rankin and the man continued to struggle inside the car while the woman drove to the Brainerd Metra station at 1445 W. 89th St., got out and opened the rear passenger door where Rankin was seated. She also saw Rankin with a gun and began screaming for help, prosecutors said. Witnesses nearby heard them and called police.

Outside of the car, Rankin and the man continued to struggle for the gun, until Rankin shot the man in the leg, prosecutors said. Rankin then got into the car’s driver’s seat and drove off, prosecutors said. He was seen by responding Chicago police officers and was taken into custody after a brief foot chase near 91st and Laflin streets, prosecutors said.

The man who was shot was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn for treatment and Rankin was taken into custody, where he admitted to shooting the man and stealing the car in a videotaped statement, prosecutors said. The gun was not recovered.

Prosecutors have charged Rankin as an adult, and he faces felony counts of aggravated battery with a handgun, armed robbery and vehicular hijacking.

An assistant public defender for Rankin said he lives with his sister and her two children, was attending high school and had been earning money by cutting lawns and doing construction work.

Judge Mary Marubio ordered Rankin held without bail and scheduled his next court date for Oct. 7.