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7-Year-Old Amari Brown's Alleged Killer Admits Firing A Shot: Prosecutors

 Rasheed Martin, 20, is charged with first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder.
Rasheed Martin, 20, is charged with first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder.
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Chicago Police Department; Family

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTS — A man charged with killing a 7-year-old boy on the Fourth of July during a running gang feud in Humboldt Park admitted on videotape that he and another man fired shots that night, prosecutors said.

Rasheed Martin, 20, is charged with murder in the fatal shooting of 7-year-old Amari Brown on the evening of July 4. Martin, who allegedly fled to Wisconsin, where he was arrested, was ordered held without bond Wednesday.

The other alleged shooter has not been charged, although prosecutors say Martin implicated an accomplice.

According to prosecutors, Martin and his friends were involved in an ongoing dispute with several other people in his neighborhood.

The dispute "escalated with both groups shooting guns at each other" on April 17, May 23 and earlier in the day on July 4, Assistant State's Attorney Jennifer Cooper said during a bond hearing Wednesday. That shooting happened near Harding and Thomas.

Later that day, Amari Brown, a 27-year-old woman and several witnesses were on the sidewalk in the 1100 block of North Harding Avenue, Cooper said. Amari had just returned from watching a fireworks show with his family.

Martin and the other alleged shooter fired into the group, according to prosecutors. Police have said the shooters were likely targeting Amari's father, a "high-ranking" gang member.

Amari was hit in his chest and died. The 27-year-old woman was hit twice in her chest but survived, Cooper said.

Witnesses told detectives that Martin was one of the shooters, according to prosecutors. Investigators later learned that Martin fled to northern Wisconsin, where he was arrested on a warrant on July 22.

After his arrest, Martin gave a videotaped statement to Chicago detectives implicating himself and the second man in the murder, authorities said.

"He admitted, among other things, that he was armed with a gun and that he fired one shot," Cooper said in court Wednesday.

Martin, of the 900 block of North Monticello Avenue, was charged with first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder — one for the 27-year-old woman and one for a man in the crowd who was nearly hit by a bullet.

Neighbors after the shooting described Amari as a happy child who loved to ride his bike and play with other children on the block.

Days after the shooting, a coalition of South and West side business, churches, politicians and community leaders raised more than $6,000 as a reward for information leading to the capture of Amari’s killer.

Cook County Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil on Wednesday ordered Martin held without bail.

"I have to take into consideration the allegations," Kuriakos Ciesil said. "This involves a shooting on a public street ... [and] the child has died."

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