Gunman killed Jai’Mani Rivera 2 weeks after cutting off ankle monitor: prosecutors

Jai’mani Amir Rivera (National Gun Violence Memorial)

CHICAGO — The 16-year-old boy accused of killing 7-year-old Jai’Mani Amir Rivera this week cut off the ankle monitor he was wearing for a pending felony case about two weeks before committing the murder, officials said Saturday.

Jai’Mani was taking a cooking pot to a neighbor on Tuesday afternoon when Raysean Comer opened fire from about 300 yards away, standing on the rear parking lot of Crane High School, prosecutors said during a detention hearing yesterday afternoon. Judge Antara Rivera ordered Comer detained to await trial on murder charges.

A single bullet hit Jai’Mani in the chest, and he returned to his building in the 2300 block of West Jackson to seek help. Chicago police officers arrived. They performed life-saving techniques and loaded him into a squad car for the trip to Stroger Hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries.

In the area where the gunman stood while firing, police found 13 rifle casings. Rodgers said DNA testing is underway on those. CPD’s chief detective said police were still trying to find the murder weapon.

Assistant State’s Attorney Anne McCord Rodgers said investigators built a collection of videos from various cameras that tracked the gunman before, during, and after the shooting. The killer was wearing a mask during most of the video, but at least one clip showed Comer’s face before he put the mask on, she said.

Detectives circulated images of the killer throughout the Chicago Police Department, and three officers recognized Comer, according to Rodgers. Another witness told police during a card game that he didn’t mean to kill Jai’Mani.

After cutting off his ankle monitor earlier this month, Comer failed to appear in court for an ongoing case in which he is accused of aggravated robbery and possession of a stolen motor vehicle, both felonies, officials said.

He is the 14th person accused of shooting, killing, or trying to shoot or kill someone in Chicago this year while on pretrial release. The cases involve 26 victims, four of whom died.

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Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com