Four men have been charged in the beating death of a 16-year-old Chicago honor roll student who was brutally attacked on his way home from school last Thursday.
The death of Derrion Albert, a sophomore at Christian Fenger Academy High School, has angered many residents upset about continued violence in the city's schools.
A bystander captured part of the unbridled violence on a cell phone near the Agape Community Center in the south Chicago neighborhood of Roseland. Police say the video shows rival gangs running wild, kicking, punching and swinging planks.
Witnesses say Albert was struck with a wooden plank, and when he tried to get up, others jumped in and punched and stomped him until the teen stopped moving.
Prosecutors charged Silvonus Shannon, 19, Eugene Riley, 18, and Eric Carson, 16, with first-degree murder, and they were ordered held without bond Monday, the Cook County prosecutor's office announced today.
ABC's WLS-TV in Chicago reports that a makeshift memorial to Albert erected near where he was killed was burned over the weekend, adding to the neighborhood's disgust.
"I love my grandson. I miss him dearly...to lose him like this...it's just so senseless," Joseph Walker, Albert's grandfather said.
Albert joins this city's growing list of young lives cut short. Last year, 34 students were killed and nearly 300 others were wounded by gunfire.
"No longer should our children be living in this kind of fear," said the Rev. Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina's Church. "It's time to forego guns and two-by-fours and have that stop being the way we treat and handle each other."
Today, police descended on the neighborhood around the school in full force, as worried students returned to classes.
"I don't want to be next, I'm sorry," one student told ABC News.
Chicago is preparing to launch a $30 million program to provide jobs and mentor teens to try and stop what seems like a cycle of children killing children.
It comes too late for Albert.
"I had no trouble out of my grandson whatsoever. This thing that happened to him is so horrific that we just don't know what we're going to do," Walker said.