Anthony Brown wasn’t wearing a shirt Tuesday when he appeared via Zoom for a court hearing on two felony gun cases he has pending in juvenile court. The judge told the 16-year-old to find a shirt and appear via Zoom again the next day.
Instead, prosecutors say, Brown left the house where he was supposed to stay on electronic monitoring, carjacked a Lyft driver at gunpoint, and then shot a 15-year-old dead in cold blood as the victim walked home from school in Bronzeville.
Anthony Brown is the fifth person charged with shooting or killing — or trying to shoot or kill — someone in Chicago this year while awaiting trial for a felony. Three of the five were on electronic monitoring.
His problems with the law began on June 10 when police allegedly found him carrying a loaded handgun with an extended ammunition magazine after a foot chase in the 2700 block of South Dearborn.
Prosecutors charged him with felony unlawful use of a weapon, and a judge released him on electronic monitoring. A judge removed the electronic monitoring requirement two weeks later and gave Brown a curfew instead.
At 11:51 p.m. on December 8, well past his curfew, Brown and two others ran from a freshly-hijacked car in the South Loop, prosecutors said Thursday. When cops caught him, he was allegedly carrying another loaded handgun.
Prosecutors charged him with another felony unlawful use of a weapon count, but not carjacking. A judge put him on electronic monitoring on January 6 and told him to Zoom in on February 8.
After the judge postponed that hearing due to Brown’s shirtless appearance, the 16-year-old ordered Lyft.
The GPS-equipped ankle monitor strapped to his leg would later provide turn-by-turn and minute-by-minute evidence of Brown’s location from the time he left his home to the moment he was arrested, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said during a bail hearing Thursday.
About a half-mile into the Lyft ride, Brown pulled out a handgun and put it to the back of the driver’s head, Murphy said. He ordered the driver to get out of his black Infiniti SUV and to leave all of his property behind. The Lyft driver, age 39, complied.
Brown climbed into the driver’s seat, picked up a 15-year-old accomplice, and then headed to Bronzeville, according to Murphy. With the younger teen driving, the Infiniti passed 15-year-old Michael Brown as he walked home from school on the 3300 block of South Prairie. Murphy did not indicate any familial relationship between Anthony and Michael Brown.
Around 3:15 p.m., Brown stepped out of the Infiniti, walked up to Michael Brown, pointed a gun to his head, and fired, Murphy said.
Michael Brown collapsed on the sidewalk. Anthony Brown allegedly fired nine more rounds, then returned to the SUV and left the area.
Michael Brown, shot in the chest and shoulder and twice in the head, died.
Murphy said that video footage from a nearby surveillance camera showed the gunman wearing a black sweatshirt with three rows of white lettering on the back kill Michael Brown.
Not long after the murder, Chicago cops were alerted to a license plate reader hit on the hijacked Infiniti. They moved in and stopped the car. Anthony Brown was in the passenger seat with a firearm in his door pocket, Murphy said.
Brown was wearing a black sweatshirt with three rows of white lettering on the back that read, “Reach For The Stars.”
Murphy said ballistics tests confirmed that casings found at the murder scene were ejected by the gun police found in Brown’s door pocket. Brown’s hands also tested positive for gunshot residue, and 26 CPD surveillance cameras tracked Brown’s movements after he left the house, Murphy added.
Anthony Brown is charged with first-degree murder and aggravated vehicular hijacking. Judge Charles Beach ordered him held without bail.
The 15-year-old is charged with possessing a stolen motor vehicle.
Editor’s note: This report continues our coverage of individuals who have been charged with murder, attempted murder, or trying to kill a person while on bond for a pending felony case. CWBChicago began our series of reports in November 2019 after Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans publicly stated, “we haven’t had any horrible incidents occur” under the court’s bond reform initiative.
The actual number of murders and shootings committed by people on felony bail is undoubtedly much higher than the numbers seen here. Since 2017, CPD has made arrests in just 4% of shootings and 31% of murders, according to the city’s data. You can support CWBChicago’s work by becoming a subscriber today.