16-year-old charged in fatal shooting of mother
July 13, 2006 -- A 16-year-old boy was charged Thursday night with fatally shooting 22-year-old Latasha Hassell on the West Side Monday.
The boy, whose name police declined to release, was charged as an adult with first-degree murder, according to a release from police News Affairs.
Hassell was in the street on the 3100 block of West Walnut about 5:50 p.m. Monday when shots rang out, police said.
Many of the individuals were fleeing the scene as police responded to the burglary call, the release said. The offender fired one shot from a .45-caliber handgun at the officers as he ran away, but struck Hassell instead.
Police believe Hassell was killed by her husband's teenage cousin as he ran away from her and the officers. The alleged assailant was one of three of Prince Brunt's cousins who allegedly burglarized Brunt's and Hassell's home Monday. Hassell and her husband confronted the three and called police.
Hassell, of 311 S. Campbell Ave., was pronounced dead at 6:55 p.m. Monday at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, according to a spokesman from the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. She was shot in the upper back area, according to a Harrison District police sergeant.
However, Brunt's allegations in a federal suit are in stark contrast to the police version of the shooting -- in which neither officer on the scene fired a shot and multiple witnesses identified a fleeing teen as the shooter. The lawsuit claims two of those witnesses initially blamed a male officer for the shot that killed Hassell but changed their stories after they "spent the evening as punching bags" at the hands of police.
The 16-year-old turned himself into police Wednesday night with his parents, the release said.
The boy was slated to appear for a bond hearing in Violence Court (Br. 66) at noon Friday.
Sun-Times News Group Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2006
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