…the dead included a woman believed to be the pregnant wife of the shooter; 16-year-old Keyshai Fields, who was four months pregnant; a 3-year-old girl named Keleasha Larry; and a 7-month-old boy who was the shooter’s son, according to law enforcement officials.
The latest from the chicagotribune.com.
A man who was angry that his family would not go along with his conversion to Islam was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday in the slayings of his mother, pregnant wife, infant son and two nieces in a rampage last year on the South Side.
James A. Larry, 33, of Madison, Wis., pleaded guilty last month to multiple counts of murder, attempted murder and the intentional homicide of an unborn child.
The bald, bearded defendant issued a quiet apology in Judge James Linn’s courtroom, as several surviving members of the family stood at a podium and clutched one another.
“I’m sorry for what I did to my family,” Larry said, standing in a tan jail jumpsuit, his hands clasped behind his back. “I regret it every day, and I pray for them.”
Prosecutors said Larry came to Chicago in April 2010 bent on slaughtering his relatives at the home in the Marquette Park neighborhood. He had converted to Islam while serving a prison sentence in Wisconsin for a weapons conviction.
“He was upset at his wife and their family — he felt disrespected that they would not join his religion,” Assistant State’s Attorney Jim McKay said. “It didn’t matter if they were young or old, pregnant or not. He wanted them dead.”
The massacre began in the early morning hours April 14, at the family home in the 7400 block of South Mozart Street. Larry first shot his mother, Leona Larry, 57, as she slept on a sofa in the living room. He then went systematically through three first-floor bedrooms, fatally shooting his wife, Twanda Thompson, 19; his 7-month-old son, Jihad; his 3-year-old niece, Keleasha Larry; and his 16-year-old niece, Keyshai Fields, who was pregnant.
Larry also shot his 13-year-old nephew, Demond Larry, in the face, but the boy survived. The defendant then kicked in the bedroom door of a man who lived in the basement of the home and tried to shoot him, but no bullets fired, prosecutors said.
After Larry’s 12-year-old niece awoke to the gunfire and saw her bloodied relatives, she ran out of the house. Larry chased her down the street and fired but missed, prosecutors said. The girl made it to a gas station and called her mom.
When Larry was arrested a short time later, he said to police that Allah told him to kill his family, according to court records. A police report quoted him as saying: “I wish I had more bullets. I wish I had more bullets.”