Police: 2 teenage boys shot to death after asking man how tall he was while buying candy

Laroy Battle, 19,  is facing murder charges for allegedly killing two teenage boys in Chicago after they asked him how tall he was, police said. (Chicago PD)

CHICAGO (AP/KMOV) — Murder charges have been filed against a man accused of fatally shooting two Chicago teens after they asked him how tall he was when they were buying candy at a store, authorities announced Thursday.

Detective Brendan Deenihan said Laroy Battle, 19, allegedly shot Jesean Francis, 17, and Charles Riley, 16, after they, along with a friend, encountered the 6-foot-3 Battle at a store in the 7900 block of South Luella. Deenihan says the teens asked Battle how tall he was and expressed the hope they would grow to be that tall.

“There was no altercation. There was, there was nothing that would have set off Battle to be angry at these kids,” Deenihan said, adding that "they literally just asked him how tall he was. Cause he's cause he is extremely tall. I know it doesn't make any sense.”

As the three teens walked home, Francis and Riley, who had gone to the store to buy candy, were shot multiple times in an alley, according to authorities. Francis was shot in the back, chest and hand while Riley was shot in the back and leg. Both teens later died at a local hospital.

Police: 2 teenage boys shot to death after asking man how tall he was while buying candy

Chicago police released a surveillance image of the suspect accused of shooting two teenage boys after they asked how tall he was. Police later identified the suspect as 19-year-old Leroy Battle. (Chicago PD)

The third teen managed to escape gunfire unharmed, police said. The shooting occurred during a Fathers Day weekend in Chicago that saw more than 100 wounded by gunfire and 14 killed.

Battle was arrested Wednesday by the Great Lakes Fugitive Task Force in Schiller Park outside Chicago. Surveillance cameras outside a gas station captured the alleged gunman walking with a heavy limp which Battle confirmed was him.

He cut off his hair to change his appearance after seeing himself on the video posted on social media. Authorities credited the public for providing video of the suspect and his identity for the arrest.

Deenihan said Battle invoked his right to remain silent so the motive is still unclear. Touching back on the victims, the detective expressed that boys' lives were cut short over senseless violence.

“Obviously, we’ll never see the full growth of these poor children,” Deenihan said, adding they were "very good kids from really excellent families.”

Battle is being held without bond.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Recommended for you

(9) comments


where is blm????? where is this phony pose only for the camera movement? why not focus on the number 1 killer of black males? themselves? just an observation

pb sir

Mental health issues for this guy, maybe? But of course, he happened to have a gun.


And nobody is ever going to try to trace the gun. And our politicians are not asking why:(

Roberto Estrello Demar

"Just take about 12 inches off the top ..."

Frederick Fukov

Here ya go. Let's talk about the TRUTH of black lives matter, shall we? The truth is, while thousands are in the streets screaming about white racism against blacks, it's blacks that are killing other blacks. It's one of the most asinine and absurd things I've ever witnessed, this "movement" that's going on right now. They should call it "Black Lies Matter," because it's not white people who are doing the vast majority of kiIIings. Human beings have lost their minds.

Just curious

[thumbup]Sure hope you send that comment to Wheeler & Kate.


When black people kill other black people, they're held accountable. Case in point: this story. Yet the pigs have for years gotten away with killing black people, many of who were not armed.

Tl;Dr you are a complete moron.


Held accountable?!? Ha! One arrest, but over 100 shootings in the past week alone. Also, more whites have been killed in police custody than blacks, yet that's another inconvenient truth that doesn't fit your narrative. Look in the mirror when you're pointing a finger at who to blame.


An inconvenient truth that the black community is in denial over. When THIS is addressed maybe things will change, but I doubt it. It's a vicious circle that they place themselves in, like a hamster on a wheel. They do the same thing, but expect OTHERS to provide them with different results.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.