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Teenager charged over fatal shooting of boy near Chicago’s ‘Bean’ sculpture

Chicago police block traffic near State and Monroe streets after crowds of young people flooded the Loop after a fatal shooting in Millennial Park in Chicago (Tina Sfondeles/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)
Chicago police block traffic near State and Monroe streets after crowds of young people flooded the Loop after a fatal shooting in Millennial Park in Chicago (Tina Sfondeles/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

A 17-year-old boy has been charged with second-degree murder after a 16-year-old boy was fatally shot near “The Bean” sculpture in central Chicago’s Millennium Park, which is among the city’s most popular tourist attractions.

The shooting prompted a curfew at the park to combat violence.

Officials announced that minors will not be allowed in the park after 6pm on Thursday through until Sunday without an adult, but they did not comment on how the curfew will be enforced.

The 17-year-old, who was taken into custody following Saturday evening’s shooting, also faces charges of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated battery, police announced.

Chicago police monitor the movements of groups of young people in central Chicago after a teenage boy was shot and fatally wounded near 'The Bean' sculpture in Millennium Park
Police monitor the movements of groups of young people in central Chicago after a boy was shot near ‘The Bean’ sculpture in Millennium Park (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune via AP)

He was due in juvenile court.

The 16-year-old was shot in the chest near the giant, mirrored structure and was pronounced dead at hospital, police said.

Another teenager, who was allegedly armed with a ghost gun – a weapon that does not have a serial number and cannot be traced – was arrested in connection with the shooting, police said.

In total, 26 minors and five adults were arrested during the gathering in the park on Saturday evening.

A total of eight guns were confiscated and five gun arrests were made, police said.

“We must also have zero tolerance for young people carrying firearms or settling petty disputes with acts of violence,” mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement.

“We all must condemn this behaviour in the strongest terms possible.”

Hundreds of people were at the park earlier on Saturday as part of demonstrations around the US against the recently leaked draft opinion that suggests the Supreme Court is prepared to overturn the nationwide right to abortion.

Lori Lightfoot
Mayor Lori Lightfoot (Anthony Vazquez/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

It is unclear if the teenager who was shot had taken part in the 1pm demonstration, however participants had largely dispersed by late afternoon.

The shooting comes amid a surge in deadly violence in the city in recent years.

This year, Chicago has recorded 779 shooting incidents and 194 homicides, compared with 898 shootings and 207 homicides during the same period in 2021, according to figures last updated by the Chicago Police Department on May 8.

Chicago and some other US cities reported dramatic spikes in homicide totals last year.

Chicago’s 797 homicides in 2021 – its highest toll for any year in a quarter of a century – eclipsed the totals in the two bigger US cities, surpassing Los Angeles’ tally by 400 and New York’s by nearly 300.

The Bean sculpture is a popular tourist attraction in central Chicago.

It is formally known as Cloud Gate, but it came to be known as The Bean for its bean-like shape.