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Man Accused of Shooting Girl in Head: 'I Was Just Playing With the Gun'

By Erin Meyer | January 31, 2014 7:52am | Updated on February 1, 2014 8:44am
 Jerrell Guerin and Basir Edwards are charged in connection to a girl being shot in the head during a party Wednesday.
Jerrell Guerin and Basir Edwards are charged in connection to a girl being shot in the head during a party Wednesday.
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Chicago Police Department

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A 16-year-old girl was shot in the head at close range by a man who swears he was just playing with the gun.

Jarrell Guerin, 22, went to a small party Wednesday, picked up a 9-millimeter handgun and pointed at the teen, according to authorities and court records.

"We were drinking, and I was playing with the gun," said Guerin, who was recently been released from Boot Camp where he was serving out a sentence for a drug conviction, according to documents. "(I) pointed it at (the victim) and it just went off."

But in court on Friday, when he and a co-defendant appeared briefly in court for a bond hearing, prosecutors made Guerin's intentions sound far more malicious.

The incident occurred about 3:25 p.m. Wednesday after an argument between Guerin, of south suburban Burnham, and the girl in the 6400 block of South Stony Island Avenue in Woodlawn.

Guerin and the teenage girl argued and started calling each other names, Assistant State's Attorney Erin Antonetti said. With the gun in his hand, Guerin allegedly inserted a clip, pointed it at the girl's head and fired.

The bullet, fired at close range, bounced off the teen's skull, tore through a wall and wound up in a neighboring apartment, Antonetti said. Police said the girl suffered a graze wound. She was taken in serious condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

On Wednesday, the teen was in bad shape but stable. Prosecutors said she underwent surgery to treat the swelling on her brain from the impact and remove bullet fragments.

"It was an accident, for real," insisted Guerin's friend, Basir Edwards, who was hosting a small gathering at his apartment in the 6400 block of South Stony Island at the time of the shooting, according to documents.

Both Guerin and Edwards took off after the shooting, according to the report. When Guerin was picked up a few blocks away, he told police, "I panicked and ran out of the building."

Edwards told police the gun belonged to him.

Charged with aggravated battery with a firearm, Guerin was ordered held on $750,000 bond Friday. Edwards, who is facing a charge of obstruction for trying to escape with the gun, was ordered held on $75,000.

Edwards is not being charged for the gun because he has a valid FOID card, prosecutors said.