A teenager has been accused of murder in the shooting that killed a 7-year-old boy in Chicago this week, according to police. The boy, Jai’mani Amir Rivera, was not the intended target of the gunfire that took his life.

Police Superintendent Larry Snelling expressed his outrage at the senseless violence, emphasizing that there is no excuse for such tragic incidents. The shooting occurred outside the apartment building where Jai’mani lived on the city’s west side. Video footage revealed that the shots were fired from a distance of about 300 feet away, as reported by Chief of Detectives Antoinette Ursitti.

Following the heartbreaking incident, more than 100 people gathered near the scene for a balloon release and to mourn the loss of yet another young life to gun violence in Chicago. Jai’mani is the eighth child, aged 15 or younger, to die from gunfire in the city in 2024, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The aunt of the young victim, Vanessa Rivera, made an emotional plea for justice, echoing the sentiments of many in the community who are devastated by the tragedy. A 16-year-old boy has been charged as an adult with first-degree murder in connection with the shooting, and a court hearing is set for Saturday.

Superintendent Snelling expressed his sympathy for the family of the victim, highlighting the heartbreaking reality that parents who are simply trying to raise their children in a safe environment are now faced with the nightmare of losing a child to random violence. The incident has once again brought attention to the pervasive issue of gun violence in Chicago and the urgent need for solutions to prevent such tragedies from happening in the future.