The Chicago Tribune reports - The killing of a 2-year-old toddler and his uncle on Valentine's Day was in retaliation for an earlier murder, Cook County prosecutors revealed Friday in announcing first-degree murder charges against a second man.
Later Friday, Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson disclosed that a third suspect had been charged as well.
The toddler's uncle, Lazarec Collins, 26, was ambushed in a car in a West Side alley because the killers believed he was involved in the slaying of a brother of one of the suspects, prosecutors said.
Two-year-old Lavontay White Jr., strapped in a child safety seat in the car's rear, was also slain, while Collins' 20-year-old pregnant girlfriend was wounded. Lavontay was one of three children shot and killed within a four-day period earlier this month.
Prosecutors alleged Friday that Doniel Harris, 19, drove a blue Chevrolet Spark up to the victims' car and was one of two gunmen who opened fire. Judge James Brown ordered him held without bail on charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder.
Later Friday, Tandra Simonton, a spokeswoman for State's Attorney Kim Foxx, confirmed that a third suspect was charged with murder and attempted murder in the shooting. Jeremy Ellis, 19, of the 2200 block of South Kirkland Avenue, is expected to appear Saturday in bond court at the Leighton Criminal Court Building.
Last week, 26-year-old Devon Swan was the first to be charged in the double slaying. He is also being held without bail.
Prosecutors said one other suspect has yet to be charged.
The shooting was captured on Facebook Live as Collins' girlfriend streamed video of the three riding in a car shortly before 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 14 in an alley near the woman's home at Ogden and Kostner avenues in the Lawndale neighborhood.
Harris drove up to the victims' car, and he and one of the people in the back seat opened fire, prosecutors said. The pregnant woman, who was driving, exited her vehicle and ran to a residence.
The gunmen continued to shoot multiple times at Collins and his nephew, prosecutors said. Collins suffered five wounds to the abdomen, back and legs. Lavontay was shot in the back of his head, and the bullet traveled through his cheek, prosecutors said.
Collins was pronounced dead at the scene, and his nephew was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Collins' girlfriend, who was four months pregnant, was shot in the abdomen, police said. The unborn child later died.
Witnesses spotted Harris driving the Chevrolet, and at least one witness saw him open fire, prosecutors said. A witness in the area also saw one of the suspects holding a gun as he ran to the blue Chevrolet before it fled the scene with three others, according to prosecutors. The car belongs to Swan's girlfriend, who lent it to him after she went to work.
Prosecutors said Swan made admissions to multiple witnesses about his involvement in the shooting and also implicated Harris.