New details revealed as suspect in retired CPD officer’s death appears in court – NBC Chicago

A teenager was “ready to shoot and kill” when another person approached a retired Chicago police officer with his weapons drawn in West Garfield Park last week, according to Cook County prosecutors.

“That’s exactly what happened,” Assistant State’s Attorney Anne McCord Rodgers said Tuesday during the initial hearing of Lazarious Watt, 16, on a charge of first-degree murder.

Larry Neuman, 73, was paying a man Thursday morning to help him mow the lawn in front of his home in the 4300 block of West Monroe Street when he saw the two attackers putting on ski masks, police said. prosecutors.

As Neuman reached for his own weapon, he was shot multiple times by one of the masked attackers, who remains at large, prosecutors said.

Neuman fired a shot himself and Watt then allegedly fired a shot as well, according to authorities who said five shell casings were found at the scene.

Neuman collapsed and was taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds to the chest and leg, but died shortly after.

Prosecutors have not suggested a motive for the killing.

Surveillance video captured the shooting from a distance and was not of much help to investigators, Rodgers said, but in the 20 minutes before the shooting, Watt and the other suspect were clearly recorded by several surveillance cameras in the area.

The images from those images allowed at least four people who knew Watt from the neighborhood or his school to identify him, prosecutors said. Additionally, a man who was riding his bike in the area and knew Watt said he saw the teen running right after the shots were fired.

At the time of the shooting, the teen was confined to his home after repeatedly violating his electronic monitoring agreement in a separate case in juvenile court. In that case, Watt was found in possession of a gun with an extended magazine and an automatic switch after crashing a stolen car, according to prosecutors, who said the office should also charge him with another carjacking in March.

A deputy public defender for Watt focused on Watt’s identification problems during the hearing and suggested that a substantial reward worth tens of thousands of dollars could have improperly induced people to identify Watt. She said Watt’s decision to go to police after learning he was a suspect showed he was not a flight risk.

But Judge Antara Nath Rivera ordered his pre-trial detention.

In her order, the judge said she considered Watt to be a danger to the community, noting that he allegedly participated in an attack in a residential neighborhood, “in broad daylight” and in front of the victim’s home “where a person must feel safe.” »

Watt is being charged as an adult under a state law that automatically transfers a juvenile defendant’s case to adult proceedings for the most serious offenses. He is the second teenager charged in a high-profile murder in recent days.

Neuman is revered as a “pillar of the community,” a “family man” and a tireless advocate for his community members, especially young people, those who knew him said in recent tributes.

The police force’s longest-serving Vietnam veteran and bomb squad technician, he retired in 2010 after 28 years and devoted himself to his work as a reverend.

“Rev. Neuman called me Wednesday night and said he wanted to do more for the youth in the community,” said Paul Sims, pastor of St. Michael Missionary Baptist Church. told the crowd at a recent vigil. “Anyone who knew Larry Neuman knew he would have done anything he could for those two young men in that video.”

NBC Chicago

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