Man, 2 juveniles charged in fatal South Loop shooting of high school senior

Jordan Parks, 19, and Antoine Blakes, 16, are accused of first-degree murder and attempted murder in the April shooting of Cameron Rayford, prosecutors said. A 15-year-old boy is also charged with murder in juvenile court.

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Cook County Criminal Courts, 2601 S. California Blvd.

Cook County Criminal Courts, 2601 S. California Blvd.

Sun-Times file

Three teenagers have been charged in a deadly shooting last month in the South Loop that left a high school senior dead.

Jordan Parks, 19, and Antoine Blakes, 16, each face counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder in the April 27 shooting of Cameron Rayford, Cook County prosecutors said Thursday.

Blakes is being charged as an adult. A third defendant, a 15-year-old boy, is also facing a murder charge in juvenile court.

On the day of the attack, surveillance video recorded Blakes behind the wheel of a stolen Kia, with Parks and the 15-year-old in the passenger seats as they repeatedly drove past the same location near the 1900 block of South State Street.

Shortly before 3:30 p.m., Blakes used the Kia to strike the rear bumper of a Jeep Cherokee that Rayford, 18, was driving near State and Cullerton streets.

Blakes then allegedly pulled the Kia next to the Jeep, allowing Parks and the 15-year-old to open fire on the SUV from the passenger-side windows.

Rayford was struck multiple times and later pronounced dead. An 18-year-old man who was a passenger in the Jeep was shot in his hand. Two other passengers escaped injury.

Rayford was expected to graduate in a few weeks from Perspectives Charter High School, where he was known for his fashionable style, CBS 2 Chicago reported at the time. A LinkedIn profile indicated he aspired to be an investment banker.

After the shooting, Blakes drove the Kia onto a sidewalk about two blocks from the shooting, and all three ran to a nearby Green Line station, where they were recorded by CTA surveillance cameras, prosecutors said. Blakes’ full face can be seen in the surveillance video, but Parks and the juvenile were wearing masks, leaving only the tops of their faces exposed, prosecutors said.

The three allegedly got off the train at 35th Street and were then seen going into an apartment building where Blakes and Parks lived. They came out again shortly after, with Parks having changed clothes, prosecutors said.

Parks was wearing the same clothing when he was shot the next day and was interviewed by detectives, prosecutors said. No other information was available about Parks’ shooting.

Parks’ home was later searched, and investigators allegedly found a 9 mm handgun with a laser sight attachment that matched a bullet recovered from Rayford’s body. A Glock found in Blakes’ apartment matched shell casings recovered from the Kia, prosecutors said.

Parks was on juvenile probation in a 2019 aggravated unlawful use of a weapon case and a 2020 reckless homicide at the time of Rayford’s killing, prosecutors said.

In the reckless homicide case, Parks was found responsible for driving a stolen SUV onto a sidewalk in August 2020 that struck a female pedestrian, prosecutors said. The woman was paralyzed as a result and died a little more than a year later. Additional information was not available about the case.

An assistant public defender said Parks and Blakes are lifelong Chicagoans who each lived with their mothers. Both were still in high school, the attorney said.

Judge Charles Beach ordered them held without bail Thursday.

The 15-year-old defendant was ordered held in juvenile detention during a hearing Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the state’s attorney’s office said.

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