Serenity Broughton murder update: Man accused of shooting 7-year-old girl and injuring her sister
Chicago police on Wednesday announced murder charges against a man allegedly involved in the August shootings that killed a 7-year-old girl and injured her sister on the Northwest Side.
Aireon Luster, 24, was charged with first degree murder and attempted murder following the death of Serenity Broughton on August 15.
Luster was one of two armed men who got out of a car in an alley on West Grand Avenue’s 6200 block and started shooting, Police Chief Brendan Deenihan alleged on Wednesday. Serenity’s mother put her and her sister Aubrey, 6, in a parked car when gunfire broke out.
Serenity was shot in the chest and later died at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. Her younger sister was hit in the chest and armpit but survived.
A relative of the girls is believed to have been the target of the shooting, Deenihan said.
Luster and the other gunman got back into the car where a getaway driver was waiting and left the scene, he said.
“We are still asking for public help,” Deenihan said as police attempt to find the other two suspects linked to and part of Luster. “
Aireon Luster, 24Chicago Police Department
Regina Broughton, the girls’ grandmother, said Wednesday night she was “thrilled” when she heard the news that someone had been charged in connection with her granddaughter’s death. She said her son called her Wednesday night about two hours before the Chicago Police Department press conference.
Broughton passed the message on to Aubrey and told her, “They got them” [guy] who hurt you, they caught them [guy] who did this to you and stole Serenity from you. “
Aubrey responded by saying “OK” in a soft, shy tone and clapping her hands.
“I feel like my family is one step closer to justice,” said Broughton. “I feel like the judiciary is working for us.”
The news comes a little over two weeks after the Sun-Times reported a conflict with a suspect’s indictment, which previously sparked an extraordinary chain of events that veteran court observers believe is unprecedented in recent history.
A senior Chicago police commander, frustrated Cook County attorneys, initially dismissed a suspect of the fatal shootout, going to a judge to keep the suspect longer in custody and bypassing the prosecution to avoid the man of the murder and attempted one To be charged with murder. Hours later, senior police officers reversed course – and persuaded the judge to essentially “discharge” the suspect.
Deenihan confirmed that Luster was the person prosecutors initially dismissed charges.
“What has changed is that we are working with the prosecutor to make sure we have a full and thorough investigation and we are working together to bring charges against the defendant,” he said.
A Cook County prosecutor’s office spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Wednesday.
Broughton said her family felt “downcast” after the charges were initially denied.
“We felt there was no justice and they got their way,” said Broughton.
Now, after two busy months, Broughton said that her family felt that a great burden had been removed from them.
“The process will be a long time coming, but I’m looking forward to it,” said Broughton. “I feel like a little bit closed and justice has been done.”
Luster is on trial on Thursday.