Chicago shooting: Man charged with killing 2 teens who asked how tall he was, police say

Chicago police said Laroy Battle, 19, opened fire on two teens in an alley in the South Shore neighborhood after they asked how tall he was.
CHICAGO -- A Chicago man has been charged after police said he fatally shot two teens in the South Shore neighborhood after they asked how tall he was.

Police said Laroy Battle, 19, opened fire on two teens in an alley in the 7900-block of South Luella Avenue around 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 20.

According to Deputy Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan, the shooting took place after the two teens and a friend had a brief encounter with Battle, whom they did not know, in a corner store.

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"The victims commented, because, since Battle is quite tall, and they asked him how tall he was and you know, hoped to be that tall someday," Deenihan said. "And unfortunately, obviously we'll never see the full growth of these poor children."

As the three teens walked home, two of them were shot multiple times in the alley. Police said they recovered nine shell casings from the scene.

Jasean Francis, 17, was shot in the back, chest and left hand and taken to University of Chicago Hospital, where he died. Charles Riley, 16, was shot in the back and left leg and was taken to University of Chicago Hospital, where he also died.

Police said the two boy had asked their mothers for the OK to go down the block and buy candy.
"He was a kid," said Francis' aunt Latonya Pettit. "Liked video games, snacks. That was his thing. He would walk into this hospital gift shop daily and purchase snacks."

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"He was nice to seniors on the block," said his aunt Keena Hoyle. "The nurses looked forward to him coming over there daily. They brought over to the family roses. They watched him grow up as a child."

Battle is charged with two counts of first degree murder. Police said he had a previous conviction for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, for which he received probation.

Battle is scheduled to appear in bond court Friday.

Police thanked the community for their help in providing surveillance video of the suspect and identifying him.

A 6 p.m. prayer vigil is scheduled to take place near the scene of the shooting.
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