BELOIT, Wis. (WTVO) — Beloit police arrested a 15-year-old juvenile Monday for the murder of a 19-year-old teen two weeks ago.
At a press conference, Beloit Police Chief Andre Sayles said the boy was arrested earlier this morning at Beloit Memorial High School. Police coordinated with the school to make the arrest. Upon arrest, a gun was found in the suspect’s bag, Sayles said.
According to police, around 9:30 p.m. on Friday, September 3rd, officers responded to a reported shooting near Bluff Street and Portland Avenue. Witnesses told police that the suspects involved in the shooting fled from the scene toward Vine. Shell casings were recovered at the scene, police said.
On Sunday, September 5th around 7:53 a.m., police were notified that a body had been found between two houses in the 300 block of Portland Avenue.
“I go back to when I was a juvenile minor. I didn’t have handguns. I don’t know where these children are getting these handguns from. I think the biggest thing is it takes a village to raise these kids. And I think us as a community, a police department, we need to step up and get our arms around our young people in the city, and make sure we’re leading them down the right path instead of the wrong path they’re going down now,” Sayles said.
After reviewing body camera footage and evidence from the Friday night scene, it was determined that the victim’s body was not visible to officers due to its location and time of day, Sayles said.
Police have said that the victim has ties to Beloit, but have not yet released his identity, but Sayles said the victim and the suspect knew each other.
Sayles said that this is not the first shooting incident involving young people in Beloit this year. Back in May, three teenagers were injured after being hit by gunfire on Nelson Avenue. Sayles is asking local leaders to do more to help curb juvenile crime in the city.
“When you see something, say something. I remember when I was a child, everybody in my neighborhood knew my name. They knew who my parents were, so I was afraid to do things wrong. So we need those individuals to step up and talk about some of the things going on here,” Sayles said. “It’s disheartening to see some of these young kids, especially young men of color, losing their lives to senseless violence. It’s just ridiculous. And we need to step together and stand united, and stop this senseless violence that’s going on.”
The juvenile has been charged with First Degree Intentional Homicide, Possession of a Firearm under the age of 18 and Possession of a Firearm on School Premises.
Sayles said the District Attorney will decide if the suspect will be charged as an adult.