A man was arrested Wednesday after he allegedly shot and killed two teenagers in Chicago, Illinois, for asking how tall he was.
“Police said Laroy Battle, 19, opened fire on two teens in an alley in the 7900-block of South Luella Avenue around 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 20,” according to ABC 7 Chicago.
Deputy Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said the shooting happened after the two teens and a friend had a brief encounter with Battle, whom they did not know, at a neighborhood corner store.
“The victims commented, because, since Battle is quite tall, and they asked him how tall he was and you know, hoped to be that tall someday. And unfortunately, obviously we’ll never see the full growth of these poor children,” Deenihan explained.
As the three teenagers walked home from the store, police said two of them were shot multiple times in an alleyway.
“Jasean Francis, 17, was shot in the back, chest and left hand and taken to University of Chicago Hospital, where he died,” the ABC 7 report stated.
“Charles Riley, 16, was shot in the back and left leg and was taken to University of Chicago Hospital, where he also died,” the article continued.
Deenihan said the teens had been to a mall together and knew the neighborhood well, but did not often venture out because it was so dangerous.
However, on that one occasion, the boys got permission from their mothers to walk to the store and buy candy.
“None of it makes sense,” Deenihan said of the shooting.
“Battle is charged with two counts of first degree murder. Police said he had a previous conviction for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, for which he received probation,” the ABC 7 article noted, adding that he was denied bond on Friday.
At a press conference Thursday, Deenihan called both victims “very good kids from really excellent families,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times.