U.S. Marshals escorted 19-year-old Blake King of Chicago into a federal courtroom in Hammond, Indiana Wednesday morning. King was there for a detention hearing, but Magistrate Andrew Rodovich postponed it until June 21. King is one of three people caught up in the shooting of an undercover ATF agent in Gary, Indiana on June 7.
Federal prosecutors have charged King with assaulting a federal officer and use of a deadly weapon. If convicted, King is facing life in prison. Although King is listed with having a Chicago address, a family member said he grew up in Gary.
In fact, the address in the 500 block of Kentucky Street where King was arrested is just a few blocks away from where his 17-year-old father of the same name died after being shot to death following an argument with someone he knew in June 1999.
The younger Blake King was just a few months old when his father was killed.
“It was a tragedy and devastating for his mother, my sister in law,” Former Gary Mayor Scott King told WBEZ of the shooting death of the older Blake King, his nephew.
Scott King was the mayor of Gary when his nephew was killed. “It was just another example of ease of access to a gun, turning what is a fairly routine physical confrontation among young men into a homicide,” King said.
According to prosecutors, the younger Blake King was standing outside a home in Gary with two others around noon on June 7 when two undercover ATF agents and a confidential informant showed up to purchase four pistols.
At some point, the two other men opened fire, striking an ATF agent in the chest and arm. The agent is recovering from his wounds. Another man died during an exchange of gunfire.
“He [Blake King] didn’t have or fire a gun based on what I’ve seen,” said Scott King, who is now a prominent defense attorney in Northwest Indiana and has represented high-profile politicians caught up in scandal.
Scott King said he visited his great nephew inside the Lake County Jail in Crown Point, Indiana earlier this week to see how he was doing.
He has not said whether he intends to represent Blake King.
“I want the best for him. I want the best opportunity for a defense,” Scott King said. “I want him to be treated fairly and appropriately.”