Teen charged in Jai’Mani Amir Rivera's slaying ordered detained while awaiting trial

Raysean Comer, 16, faces multiple felony charges, including first-degree murder and discharging a firearm that caused death, in addition to two other charges related to prior warrants, police said.

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Mourners gather for a balloon release and vigil for 7-year-old Jai’Mani Amir Rivera in Chicago.

Mourners gather for a balloon release and vigil for 7-year-old Jai’Mani Amir Rivera on West Jackson Boulevard on Wednesday. “That was my man of the house,” his mother told the Sun-Times.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

A teen boy charged with fatally shooting a 7-year-old on the Near West Side has been ordered detained while awaiting trial.

Raysean Comer, 16, made his first court appearance Saturday. Comer faces multiple felony charges, including first-degree murder and discharging a firearm that caused death, in addition to two other charges related to prior warrants, Chicago police said.

Comer has been charged as an adult.

He was arrested Thursday, two days after the fatal shooting of 7-year-old Jai’Mani Amir Rivera.

Jai’Mani had just left his home about 3 p.m. Tuesday in the 2300 block of West Jackson Boulevard when shots were fired, and he was struck in the back, Chicago police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.

Multiple witnesses and police officers identified Comer on surveillance video walking toward the area of Jai’Mani’s home and firing a rifle, according to court documents.

Responding officers rendered aid to the boy, then rushed him to Stroger Hospital in their squad car. Jai’Mani was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly after arriving, officials said.

Jai’Mani’s mother, Yolanda Berrios, described him as “Spider-Man in real life” and a “daredevil” who was equally as likely to be singing along to DD Osama songs as he was to be showing others love or helping those in the community around him. The 7-year-old was on track to start football this year and would ask her every day when it was starting.

He was bringing a cooking pot to a neighbor when he was shot.

“That was my man of the house,” Berrios told the Sun-Times. “He just loves. … He’d do anything for anybody, he was just that kid.”

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Jai’Mani Amir Rivera, 7, stands with his mother, Yolanda Berrios. “We’re gonna do whatever we can to be around each other and uplift each other,” Berrios said.

Provided

Berrios said that despite the arrest and charges, the situation was still an “injustice” for her.

“He took a piece of me that I’m never, ever going to get back. I have no words for him, I have no remorse for him. He can still eat, he can still breathe, he can still reach out to his family, and my son can’t do that. … He took him from us before he could” start his life.

She said her main purpose now is keeping her son’s name alive — she led a peace march yesterday and will be doing another balloon release at a billboard unveiling in his honor Saturday night at the corner of 1st and Cermak.

“We’re gonna do whatever we can to be around each other and uplift each other,” Berrios said. “I might be his mom, and I might be demolished. He touched other lives, too, and I have to help those people help me. … We’re gonna show up and show out for him, we have to go all out for this boy.”

More than a dozen shell casings from a rifle were found at the scene, though the weapon believed to be used in the shooting hasn’t been found, according to Chicago police. A witness told police that Comer said he would have nightmares about what he did and that he “didn’t mean to do that,” according to court documents.

As Comer was being taken into custody, a 9 mm gun was thrown from the window of his residence, according to a police report. That weapon was recovered.

“Jai’Mani’s life was taken from him,” Chicago police Supt. Larry Snelling said. “There’s no excuse for this violence.”

A GoFundMe for the family has raised more than $32,000 of a $50,000 goal by Sunday afternoon.

At least 172 juveniles have been shot in Chicago this year, according to Snelling. Jai’Mani is the eighth child age 15 or younger to have been fatally shot this year, according to Sun-Times homicide data.

Comer’s next court date is scheduled for Tuesday.

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