Man charged with fatally shooting 9-year-old River North boy

A Brighton Park man has been charged with fatally shooting 9-year-old Janari Ricks near the boy’s River North home on Friday evening, police said.  Ricks was not the intended target of the shooting, according to CPD.

Darrell Johnson | CPD

Prosecutors today charged Darrell Johnson, age 39, with felony first-degree murder. He is due in bond court this morning.

Police who responded to shots fired outside a housing complex on the 900 block of North Cambridge just before 6:30 p.m. found Ricks with multiple gunshot wounds to his chest. Officers administered emergency aid, but the boy was pronounced dead a short time later.

During a press conference Monday, Ald. Walter Burnett Jr (27th) said the shooting involved “families have known each other for over 50 years.” 

“The guy the guy was shooting at, and the guy that was doing the shooting, neither one live over there,” Burnett said. 

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said information from the community played a crucial role in Johnson’s arrest.

More information about the case is expected to be released during Johnson’s bond court hearing on Tuesday.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is