CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago police announced murder charges against a 24-year-old man Wednesday night in the August shooting that killed 7-year-old Serenity Broughton and injured her 6-year-old sister Aubrey.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said Aireon Luster, 24, was charged with murder and attempted murder in the shooting. Luster was arrested Wednesday morning in the basement of his grandmother’s home in suburban Riverside after being identified as one of the two gunmen responsible for the shooting.
Luster is expected to be in court on Thursday.
“These charges are the beginning, we hope, of bringing some closure to the grieving family of these two innocent girls who were sitting in a parked car when they were hit by gunfire,” Brown said.
Charges arrive a month later Cook County prosecutors dismissed the charges against Luster, who had been arrested in September. At the time, prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to press charges.
Police did not provide details on the new evidence that helped secure the charges now.
“What changed is that we worked with the State Attorney’s office to make sure we did a thorough and complete investigation, and we worked together to get the defendant charged,” said Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan.
Deenihan said police are asking for help from the public in finding a second gunman and the escaped driver involved in the shooting. Detectives have yet to identify those two suspects.
“We think the public knows these two people, who are probably associated with Luster, and they are part of this,” Deenihan said. “Hopefully, we’re sure these guys have talked to someone, bragged about it, and someone knows.”
Acknowledging that potential witnesses might be afraid to come forward, Deenihan said police you can provide advice anonymously online at CPDTip.com
Serenity and Aubrey were shot Sunday, August 15, in the 6200 block of West Grand Avenue in the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood.
Deenihan said the girls and their parents were visiting a relative at the time, and their mother and father were loading them into the back seat of their car, when three people in another vehicle pulled into a nearby alley and two of them got out. . and started shooting in the direction of the family car.
The attackers then returned to their vehicle and fled the scene.
Police said they believe the attackers were targeting a relative who lived in the home.
Serenity was shot in the chest and torso, and pronounced dead at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. Aubrey was shot in the chest and right armpit, has a punctured lung and was being treated at Loyola. McDermott said the girls’ mother was putting them in the back seat of the car when shots rang out.
The girls’ paternal grandmother, Regina Broughton, told reporters that her son, the girl’s father, was in the driver’s side of the car while his mother had just buckled Aubrey up. At that moment, shots rang out and Serenity was dead. Broughton said days after the shooting.
“The monster that did this to my granddaughter, I want to get caught,” he said. “It could have been my whole family, because they were all in the car together.”
Luster is due to appear in bail court Thursday afternoon.