On July 4, eight people were shot at a gathering in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, the youngest was just 11 years old. Four of the victims died as a result of their injuries, including 14-year-old Vernado Jones, Jr.
Now the FBI is offering a $25,000 reward to anyone with information leading to the arrests of the perpetrators who killed Jones and three others.
“The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Chicago Field Office, along with the Chicago Police Department in Illinois, are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the unknown individuals responsible for the murder of Vernado Jones, Jr., on July 4, 2020,” the FBI said. “Jones, Jr., who was 14 years old at the time of his death, was shot when unknown individuals opened fire on a gathering in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, after 11:30 p.m. on July 4, 2020. A total of eight victims were shot – including two other children – and Jones, Jr., was one of four fatalities.”
Jones’ aunt Nancy Wardlaw-Williams told the Chicago Sun-Times that her nephew planned to play basketball professionally.
“He was going to be our great basketball star,” she told the outlet. “I told him, ‘I’m waiting on my NBA tickets.’”
“Vernado was a wonderful kid. He had so much more life to live. So much more life to live,” she added. “And we’re deeply hurt. The entire family is deeply hurt.”
Other family members told the Sun-Times that Jones was preparing to attend the Simeon Career Academy – the same school NBA player Derrick Rose attended.
As The Daily Wire has documented, violent crime in Chicago is on the rise. Last week, more than a dozen people were shot outside a funeral home in the city after leaving a service.
“People in a black vehicle opened fire on the group as they left the funeral, [First Deputy Supt. Eric Carter] said … at least 60 shell casings were found at the scene,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported. “Fourteen people were being treated at five area hospitals, Carter said. Police said their conditions were unknown, while Chicago fire officials said at least 11 of them were listed in serious-to-critical condition.”
Two days later, Chicago police released video footage of a violent altercation on a bridge that crosses the Chicago River near the city’s high-end shopping district, The Daily Wire reported.
“The video, which is graphic, shows an altercation that happened July 19th on the 300 block of North Wabash, on the bridge that connects the city’s Loop central business district with its touristy River North district, just south of Chicago’s Trump Tower,” The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti reported.
Fox News reported that the video showed “a group of about 10 men walking on the Wabash Avenue Bridge before a few of them look off toward the street. Police highlight one man wearing black pants and a black T-shirt who then pulls out a gun and holds it in his right hand.”
“A few moments later, the man opens fire, as another suspect behind him appears to pull out a weapon and fire off a few rounds. Chaos quickly ensues as people scramble for cover and drop to the ground,” the outlet added.
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