Taft High School student shot at two other students as they walked home from class, prosecutors say

CHICAGO — Prosecutors on Friday accused a Taft High School student of shooting at two other students as they walked home from school last month, leaving one of the victims with a graze wound. Judge Susana Ortiz held Jaden Rivera, 17, without bail during an afternoon bond hearing.

Two male students, ages 17 and 18, saw Rivera sitting in his gold Cadillac on the faculty parking lot and talking with a staff member as they left the school, 6530 West Bryn Mawr, around 2:50 p.m. on April 13, prosecutor Anne McCord told Ortiz. Rivera was dating the 17-year-old’s ex-girlfriend at the time, McCord said, and the boys had fought at school before, but none has ever been arrested.

The alleged victims saw Rivera’s gold Cadillac pass on various streets as they ordered food at a Subway and then walked through the neighborhood.

As they reached a 7-Eleven near Higgins and McVicker, the younger boy saw Rivera walking up the street, wearing a ski mask, McCord alleged. She said the boy recognized Rivera because he was wearing the same clothes he wore in school that day.
Rivera stopped, raised a gun, and fired three shots, McCord continued. As Rivera fired the shots, one of the victims allegedly saw the gold Cadillac parked at the mouth of a nearby alley with Rivera’s girlfriend in the driver’s seat.

McCord said the 17-year-old suffered a minor graze wound and did not require medical attention. The other boy ran for cover and was not injured.

Rivera’s defense attorney told the judge that he’s a sophomore at Taft and attends church with his girlfriend. The lawyer questioned the victims’ ability to identify Rivera since the gunman was masked and his clothing—a dark hoodie with skinny jeans—are common apparel items.

But Ortiz seemed to focus on what she called “significantly premeditated targeting” and the timing of the shooting, which came after school at a busy intersection.

Rivera is charged with aggravated battery by discharge of a firearm and aggravated assault by discharge of a firearm. He is being prosecuted as an adult.

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