Chicago police have charged a teen with first-degree murder after a 15-year-old boy was fatally shot while trying to protect his twin brother from an attempted robbery.
The teenager, Demario Bailey, was shot in his chest just blocks away from the South Side charter school he and his brother Demacio attended. The twins, known as the “Bailey Boys” in their tight-knit community, were raised in a home that prioritized school, safety, and taking care of one another, according to family members.
“They were raised to stick together,” Bernice Fitzpatrick, the teenagers 62-year-old grandmother told the Chicago Tribune Sunday. “We always said, ‘Take after your brother, look after your brother.’”
And on Saturday afternoon, Demario did just that when tragedy hit close to home.
According to the Chicago Tribune:
Demario and Demacio had taken the No. 29 State Street bus Saturday afternoon to 63rd Street, where they got off and started walking west through a long, dark viaduct toward the school where Demacio had basketball practice, according to a police report. Four robbers confronted them under the viaduct, the report said.
Ordering the brothers to “give it up,” the robbers started going through their pockets, the police report said. A struggle and fight ensued, and Demario, the older of the twins by five minutes, saw that one of the robbers was on top of his brother. He went to Demacio’s aid, telling the assailant to “Get off my brother,” and was able to push the robber off, according to the report.
At that point, Demacio saw a weapon appear from one of the assailants and heard a shot go off, the report said. He thought Demario was right behind him as he ran away.
“But when he turned around, he didn’t see him,” Fitzpatrick said.
According to police, Demacio found his wounded brother on the ground. He was pronounced dead at the scene moments later.
Police have charged 17-year-old Carlos Johnson with first-degree murder in Demario’s killing. The teenager was also charged with another robbery that took place right before Demario’s death.
Sadly, the tragedy happened on one of the few Saturdays the boys were given permission to walk the Chicago streets alone, Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick called her grandson “honorable.”
“Demario was an excellent child, all my grandchildren are … just honorable children,” she said. “That’s how they were raised. They were raised to be good children.”
“Our children have always been dropped up and picked up and escorted,” Fitzpatrick said.
“They were starting to say, ‘Ma, we can do things on our own,’” she said. “We promised them we would give them a little more freedom. We let them go for one month. I don’t know what we’re supposed to do now.”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Demario and Demacio’s family during this difficult time.
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune | PHOTO CREDIT: Handout | VIDEO SOURCE: News Inc.