suspect charged in death of University of Chicago student | Chicago News


Students and friends of Shaoxiong “Dennis” Zheng stop at a memorial on Wednesday, November 10, 2021 in Chicago. (Madeline Kenney / Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

An 18-year-old man has been charged with murder in the shooting death of a Chinese student near the University of Chicago campus after he was found carrying the weapon used in the murder, police said on Friday.

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown told a press conference Alton Spann of Chicago was arrested and charged with first degree murder, armed robbery and two counts of illegal use of a weapon.

On Friday, it was not immediately clear whether Spann had a lawyer.

Deputy Chief Detective Rahman Muhammad said Shaoxiong “Dennis” Zheng, 24, was standing on a sidewalk in a residential neighborhood on Tuesday afternoon in the Hyde Park neighborhood on the south side of town when Spann walked away. approached Zheng and stole him at gunpoint of some of his personal belongings, including electronic devices, before shooting him in the chest and running away.

Muhammad said surveillance cameras in the area recorded Spann running towards a black Ford Mustang which then sped away.

Using video from the city’s surveillance camera system, private residences and school cameras, police were able to track the vehicle, which they then determined to have been stolen in the nearby suburb. from Markham on November 3.

The day after the shooting, Spann was seen on the north side of town, carrying two guns and an FOB key to the Ford Mustang that was featured in the video, according to Muhammad. “The guns have been tested by the CPD lab and (one of them) has been confirmed to be the weapon used to kill Mr. Zheng,” he said.

Police also recovered a video of Spann selling some of Zheng’s belongings at a mobile phone store, Muhammed said.

After the shooting, the president of the University of Chicago urged city officials and police to treat the rising violence in Chicago as a “public health crisis.”

In a statement, university president Paul Alivisatos said, “The violence plaguing Chicago is on the same scale as a public health crisis and demands a proportionate response,” and that the university has been in contact with the mayor’s office, Chicago police, aldermen and others.

There have been five murders in Hyde Park so far this year, up from none around the same time in 2020, as violence in Chicago has increased for two consecutive years, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

And according to WBBM-TV, Zheng, a 2019 graduate of the University of Hong Kong and a holder of a master’s degree in statistics from the University of Chicago last summer, was the third University of Chicago student killed this year.


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