Jerrell Dorsey, 26, of Chicago, has been charged with the shooting death of 7-year-old Heaven Sutton near her home in the North Austin neighborhood.
Police said that growing tensions between the Mafia Insane Vice Lords and the Four Corner Hustlers, is what lead Dorsey to open fire near a candy stand, killing Heaven after she was caught in the crossfire.
As a crowd of Cook county sheriff's deputies watched over a tense court hearing, the family of Heaven lashed out at Dorsey, who was charged with shooting her last week as she sold candy.
A woman yelled as the 26-year-old suspect was led from court, screaming, "I hope you die slow."
On Sunday, Cook County Circuit Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. condemned those who carry guns on Chicago's streets and declined to set a bond for Dorsey.
Judge Bourgeois told Dorsey: "You're a dangerous individual…No bail."
Outside the courtroom Heaven's family hugged and cried, and someone called out that Dorsey was a "baby thief." One woman stomped and screamed and collapsed into the arms of another family member, lamenting that Heaven could have been whatever she wanted.
Heaven's mother, Ashake Banks, said she was glad no one will be able to bail Dorsey out of jail before trial, saying, "I gotta go bury my baby."
According to the Chicago Tribune:
Dorsey's lawyer, Eric Dunham, said his client was in the area of the shooting but he was not the killer. After learning police were interested in him, Dorsey planned to turn himself in but was arrested before he could do so.
Dorsey was arrested about 11 p.m. Friday as he tried to flee from the rear of a building in the 5300 block of West Galewood Avenue in North Austin, police said. Dorsey, who lives nearby in the 1600 block of North Laramie Avenue, was unarmed, according to a police report.
"It's a tragedy," Dunham said as he told media gathered in the courthouse that his client maintains his innocence. "He's scared. He's upset."
Heaven was selling candy, snow cones and snacks near her home in the 1700 block of North Luna Avenue about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday, Assistant State's Attorney Nyshana Sumner said. Her mother set the stand up, and a few hours earlier the girl had posed for a picture at the candy table, beaming in a floral print dress and holding two packs of licorice.
As Dorsey approached, a 19-year-old man was at the stand to buy cigarettes, Sumner said.
Witnesses said Dorsey stood in the middle of the street and fired roughly 10 times before running north from the scene, Sumner said.
The 19-year-old man was struck in the ankle, prosecutors said, while Sutton was hit in the back and died about 30 minutes later. Police have described the 19-year-old man as a gang member.
After his arrest, Dorsey made statements placing himself at the scene and carrying a weapon, Sumner said.
Dorsey is charged with aggravated battery and murder, and he could face life in prison if convicted, as he has prior convictions for marijuana possession and other minor offenses, according to court records.
Hopefully, Dorsey will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.