A 6’3 shop customer murdered a 16 year-old boy and his 17 year-old friend for asking how tall he was, police say. Laroy Battle, 19, allegedly shot Charles Riley, 16, and Jasean Francis, 17, dead on June 20 after they asked him the question while buying candy at the store in Chicago.
After the boys queried Battle about his height inside the store, he reportedly followed them out afterwards and fired nine rounds at them, killing both. Riley was struck in the back and left leg, while Francis was shot in the back, chest and left hand.
Both boys were rushed to hospital, where efforts to save them proved unsuccessful. Neither knew Battle before their murders.
Chicago’s Deputy Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan told WLS: ‘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.
‘And unfortunately, obviously, we’ll never see the full growth of these poor children.’ Both boys were described as ‘very good kids from excellent families’ who were running errands for their mothers at the time of their murders.
Battle was arrested after locals recognized him from surveillance footage released by police. The Chicago Sun Times reported that he admitted being the person on the surveillance footage, but said that he has yet to offer a motive for the shootings.
Battle, who has a previous weapons conviction, faces two counts of first-degree murder.
Francis’s aunt Latonya Pettit paid tribute to her late nephew, saying: ‘He was a kid.
‘Liked video games, snacks. That was his thing. He would walk into this hospital gift shop daily and purchase snacks.’
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