COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTS — A Chicago teen accused of bringing a loaded gun to Urban Prep Charter Academy feared he would be killed by gang members who harassed him for years, his mother said Wednesday through tears.
Darnell Hamilton, 17, faces gun charges after police found a 9mm semiautomatic handgun loaded with several live rounds in his school locker Tuesday morning, prosecutors said.
Hamilton told police that he was being “hassled by the gangs and he bought the gun for protection,” Assistant State’s Attorney Erin Antonietti said Wednesday when Hamilton appeared in his white button down shirt and khaki pants before a Cook County judge.
“It’s pretty much about recruitment,” said Hamilton’s mother, LaDonna Petty, one arm wrapped around her son’s girlfriend. “My son is an awesome kid; he has a 4.0 grade point average.
“What are you supposed to do when you live in the city and your child is afraid?” she said, fighting back tears.
Prosecutors said police were called to Urban Prep, 1326 W. 14th Place, by school officials. They found the gun in a backpack inside Hamilton’s locker.