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Two Teen-Agers Charged in Death of 11-Year-Old Murder Suspect

September 3, 1994

CHICAGO (AP) _ The hunt for an 11-year-old boy wanted in a killing caused so much ″police heat″ that two fellow teen-age gang members murdered him with two bullets in his head, police said.

Cragg Hardaway, 16, was charged Friday with first-degree murder as an adult and a 14-year-old was charged as a juvenile in the killing of the boy, police Cmdr. Earl Nevels said.

″Members of the gang felt that Robert Sandifer had brought a lot of police heat on the gang,″ Nevels said at a news conference.

Police searched for Robert after he allegedly killed a 14-year-old girl during a shooting spree Sunday. For several days, gang members moved the boy - known as ″Yummy″ for his love of cookies - from location to location to keep police from finding him, Nevels said. Robert thought he was being sent out of town when his fellow gang members took him to a quiet railroad underpass and shot him about midnight Wednesday, Nevels said.

Witnesses linked the two teen-agers to the scene and Nevels said one confessed and the other implicated himself in statements. Nevels said Hardaway pulled the trigger.

Robert, an abused child and convicted felon, was found in a pool of blood Thursday morning.

Two gunshot wounds - one to the back of the head and one to the top - led police to suggest from the beginning that fellow gang members had killed him.

Robert’s mother, Lorina Sandifer, told WLS-TV on Friday that she was sorry she didn’t try to keep her son away from the street gang.

″By me being an ex-addict I knew about the gangs and the streets. I should have known,″ she said. ″Life is precious to me. If had known it was that deep, I would have looked into it myself.″

Police believe Robert shot and injured two 16-year-old boys Sunday in separate shootings, the same day a stray bullet from his gun killed Shavon Dean 10 yards from her house, Nevels said.

Police at first thought Sunday’s shootings were part of a gang initiation.

″We have since found out it was much more than that,″ Nevels said. He refused to elaborate.

He said he did not believe the two boys in custody ordered those shootings or Robert’s execution. He said police are looking for the people responsible.

Cmdr. Donald Hilbring, head of the gang investigation section, said it is not uncommon for boys Robert’s age to belong to gangs.

Just after the news conference, hundreds of people crowded into a South Side funeral home for Shavon’s funeral.

Some boys had messages about her death shaved into their hair.

″Rest in Peace, Shavon,″ one read.

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