Prosecutors on Friday charged 19-year-old Jarell Garner with shooting a 16-year-old as Garner tried to rob the younger teen of a firearm in Chicago. At the time of the shooting, Garner was on “first-offender gun probation.” If he did well on the program, he would avoid a felony conviction in a 2021 gun possession case.
“While he was on probation for a gun offense,” Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Dirk Remily told Judge Susana Ortiz, “the defendant set up a deal to purchase a firearm but instead robbed and shot that person.”
Just days before Garner appeared in felony bond court, prosecutors charged another first-offender gun probation participant with attempted murder for allegedly trying to shoot a pizza delivery driver at point-blank range. He missed.
Garner met with the 16-year-old to complete a gun sale outside a convenience store outside the Laramie Green Line station around 5:30 p.m. on September 23, Remily said. They went inside the store, completed a CashApp transaction, and Garner bought a couple of cigars, giving one to the teen.
The pair moved to the back of the store, and, while standing between a refrigerated display and a grocery aisle, the 16-year-old pulled a gun out of his jacket and showed it to Garner. Remily said surveillance video showed the boy pointing to features on the weapon before Garner grabbed it from the teen’s hand and ran out of the store.
The 16-year-old chased Garner and they struggled for control of the firearm in front of the store as another video camera was recording. Garner’s hand was on the trigger, and the weapon fired one time during the altercation, striking the younger teen in the stomach, Remily alleged.
Garner is charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated discharge of a firearm. Remily said the 16-year-old is not cooperating with investigators.
Assistant Public Defender Suzin Farber argued that the weapon might have been fired by the 16-year-old and, either way, she said, the shooting was not intentional. Garner is a high school graduate, the father of two young children, and works as a clothing manufacturer, she said as she urged Judge Ortiz to deny the state’s request to hold Garner without bail.
Ortiz was not swayed.
“At the age of 19, while having been given the benefit of first-offender gun probation, here he sets up another transaction with a juvenile to obtain another illegal firearm,” Ortiz summarized. “Illegal firearms that fuel the gun violence on these city streets every single day. And someone ends up shot. Someone ends up shot. Maybe someone else is in the wrong also. But they end up shot in a public place … That’s as big as it gets in terms of danger to the community.”
The judge granted the state’s no-bail petition.
Last Monday, prosecutors charged 22-year-old Lorenzo Clark with attempted murder for allegedly firing a gun twice at point-blank range next to a pizza driver’s head during a robbery attempt the night before. Both shots missed, but one round lodged in the dashboard of the victim’s car.
Clark was also on first-offender gun probation at the time of the alleged crime.
Ortiz held him without bail, too.