Funeral held for 10-year-old killed in shooting
October 24, 2007 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Family and friends celebrated the life of a young Chicago boy Wednesday. The singing and praying was part of the memorial service for 10-year-old Arthur Jones at a South Side church.
Jones was shot to death last week, gunned down as he walked home from school. As Jones was mourned Wednesday, one of the three people charged in his killing, Lasean Jackson, appeared in court.
Jackson is the alleged shooter. The 17-year-old was given a $1.5 million bond. His family was shocked at the high amount, while prosecutors say it is appropriate for someone who is accused of opening fire in the afternoon at a busy intersection. At the same time as Jackson's court appearance, Arthur Jones was remembered by hundreds of family members, friends and strangers.
Rita Perez waved and said "bless you" as she walked into church to say goodbye to her 10-year-old son she called A.J.
"This young man wanted to serve the lord and serve people. And we salute and celebrate his life today," said Pastor Charles Jenkins, Fellowship M.B. Church.
In the church where Arthur Jones said he wanted to be a pastor when he grew up, hundreds came to the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church 4543 S. Princeton, to mourn his death, including students and teachers from Holmes Elementary School, where A.J. had just entered the fifth grade.
"Even at the tender age of 10, Arthur exemplified what we call true character at Holmes School," said Angela Thomas, Holmes Elementary School assistant principal.
One week ago, Jones was killed as he walked home from school. He was shot twice as bullets were fired from one gang to another on the corner of Halsted and Garfield.
The alleged shooter turned himself in Tuesday and appeared in court Wednesday. Prosecutors say 17-year-old Lesean Jackson told members of his gang to step back as he opened fire on another gang. Ten-year-old Jones was caught in the crossfire.
"Immediately after he was shot, the victim lay on the ground crying out for his mother. He was transported to the Comer children's hospital where he was pronounced dead a half-hour after he was shot," said Maria McCarthym assistant state's attorney.
Wednesday, Rita Perez was comforted by her surviving children as she listened to Rev. Renaldo Kyles from Chicago Public Schools talk about the need for the entire community to prevent another CPS student from being killed.
"We are becoming veterans in doing this. Too many of our young people are dying," said Rev. Renaldo Kyles, Chicago Public Schools.
Jones is the seventh Chicago Public Schools student killed this school year, the fourth by gun violence.
While three teenagers have been arrested in the case, police are looking for a fourth. Prosecutors say there was a second gunman. Investigators are confident he will be caught, considering several witnesses have come forward in the case.
Classmates of Arthur Jones were part of the twelfth annual Day of National Concern. During Wednesday event, Chicago Public Schools students were asked to sign a pledge never to use a gun.
The idea behind the nationwide effort to stop the violence is to get more children aware of gun violence and to sign a pledge never to use a gun to solve disputes.
Wednesday , children at Holmes Elementary School, where Arthur Jones was a student, heard from Chicago Police Commander Joseph Patterson about how dangerous guns can be.
"If you see a gun any place you do not touch it. If you see it in the home, if you see it out playing you do not touch it, correct? Ok, I want you to make a pledge to myself, your teacher, everyone here today that you will not touch guns," said Commander Joseph Patterson, Chicago Police Department.
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