Transcript of the interrogation by Waukegan detectives that led to a 15-year-old’s false confession

Conducted by officers Sean Aines and Joshua Amann, the 43-minute interview led to wrongful charges, including attempted murder, and to two nights in jail for the teen.

Transcript of the interrogation by Waukegan detectives that led to a 15-year-old’s false confession

Conducted by officers Sean Aines and Joshua Amann, the 43-minute interview led to wrongful charges, including attempted murder, and to two nights in jail for the teen.

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On Feb. 16, 2022, detectives in a suburb north of Chicago interrogated a 15-year-old about a shooting that injured a dollar-store clerk. The teen confessed to the crime even though he did not commit it. The police kept him in jail on charges, including attempted murder, until his basketball team proved he was in another town during the shooting. The city of Waukegan refused to release video of the 43-minute interrogation until WBEZ sued and a judge ordered it. The interrogation was carried out by Waukegan police officers Sean Aines, the case’s lead detective, and Joshua Amann, a detective who told the 15-year-old he was there to serve as the teen’s “juvenile advocate.” WBEZ published an analysis of the interrogation and created this transcript, redacting parts to protect the teen’s privacy. The main redaction covers the first 2½ minutes, in which Aines asks about prior encounters, if any, with law enforcement. Here is a transcript of the remaining 40 minutes:

Detective Sean Aines: Listen, man, I can tell you’re a little bit nervous about why you’re here, which is normal. Being in a police station, I know, isn’t like, it’s probably not the first place you want to be. I understand that. Here’s what I can tell you. I’m going to be straight with you. And I’m not here to, like, lie to you, play games. It’s illegal for me to lie. I can’t go around lying to a little kid. Things like that, I could go to jail for that. So I’m just going to be straight with you. I’m going to show you respect. As long as you show me respect, we’re going to be good, OK?

Teen Suspect: [Knocks something off the table inadvertently.]

Detective Joshua Amann: Don’t worry about it.

Aines: Do you understand what I’m trying to say? So what I can tell you is, what, are you, you’re 15? You’re 15?

Teen Suspect: Yeah.

Aines: You got your whole life ahead of you, OK? The decisions that you make as a teenager before you’re an adult, thankfully, like the way the law is structured — and I agree with how they’re structured — decisions, you make, maybe mistakes you make, bad decisions you make as a teenager, as a kid, they typically don’t follow you into adulthood, OK? But part of, you know, growing up, being a teenager, is learning from your mistakes, maybe making things right that you did wrong, OK? Do you understand what I’m saying, trying to say?

Teen Suspect: Mm-hmm [nodding].

Aines: So, again, I need you to take a deep breath. I can tell you’re on edge. Do you want, do you want to, I mean, you don’t have to explain, you know, what you think is going on. But what, what are you really nervous about right now at this point?

Teen Suspect: I’m nervous that I’m not going to be able to see my family tonight.

Aines: OK. I want to focus on — right now, tonight — focus on the big picture, OK? What’s best for you, long term, what decisions are, what decisions am I going to make going forward that are better, are going to better my life. Do you understand what I’m saying? Alright, so, with all that being said, I want to just lay a few things out there. You don’t need to say anything. I’m going to explain everything, all right now, OK? I know you were involved in an incident a couple Fridays ago at a Dollar General, OK? I know a lot about that incident, OK? I’ve watched the video, OK? Here’s what I can say, what I can understand about this, OK? You went to that store, minding your own business, OK, from what I can tell. Nobody, you didn’t do anything wrong, you didn’t steal anything. The store, the shop guy, from what it looks like to me, tells you to leave for no reason. And then, at that point, he puts hands on you. I don’t know what this guy’s deal was. I don’t know if he doesn’t like you or if he’s racist or if he just fucking, you know, is an asshole. You know what I’m saying? All I have is that video. There’s no sound on that video. I don’t know what he said to you. I don’t know what kind of words were exchanged. I don’t know if he threatened to kill you. Things like that matter. Do you understand what I’m saying? So, I know you didn’t go into that store with the intention of shooting anybody. I know that. But things happen, OK? Things can unfold quickly. Maybe this guy posed a threat to you. Like I said, I watched the video. He put hands on you. I saw that. He’s significantly bigger than you. He could probably hurt you. I don’t know what was going through your head at that time, just like I am not quite sure what was going through his head at the time, OK? But there’s two sides of every story. I only have a partial side of the story, OK? Do you understand what I’m saying? Now, there’s a big difference between, ‘Hey, I’m going to go fucking shoot somebody for no goddamn reason.’ That’s an evil, some evil shit, do you know what I’m saying? Versus, ‘Look, I felt my life might have been in danger. I thought this dude might have killed me. He’s way bigger than me. I felt like maybe I needed to protect myself at that point in time.’ Self-defense scenario is a lot different from somebody going and committing a heinous crime and shooting someone for no reason. Do you understand what I’m saying? Now, with all that being said, I can only maybe think what was going through your head at that time. I can’t put the words in your mouth unless you tell me, unless you explain the situation. You know what I’m saying? So, all I have right now is some video to go off of. And that’s it. You know what I’m saying?

Teen Suspect: Wait. Can I tell you something?

Aines: I need you, I need you to just hear me out before I let you talk, OK? Now, I can tell you, you wouldn’t be here, talking to me right now, if I didn’t have an abundance of information that you were there and you were involved with this, OK? So that’s not a question in my mind. So I’m not here to even discuss that part. I’m here to discuss the context. You know what context means? It’s like reasoning. You put, there are reasons why things happen. You know what I’m saying? And, from what it appears to me, this might have been, like, maybe it was a racial profiling-type thing. I don’t know what this dude’s deal was. I don’t know unless you explain it to me. You understand what I mean? Putting things into context matters. Context matters. Like I already explained to you, you reacting to, maybe, somebody committing a crime or an offense against you versus you going out and being the aggressor and seriously harming somebody — two totally different scenarios. People walk out of this building after shooting people, because they explained the context of the situation. They explained it was a self-defense scenario and, ‘Look, I felt my life was in danger.’ We check everything out, we talk to people, we make a determination that’s exactly what it looks like. This guy had to shoot this other guy because he felt he had to. He felt like he was in fear of death or of great bodily harm and he had no choice. You know what I mean? And I’ve watched people, I’ve driven people home that have shot people before. They never spent a day in jail. But that all has to rest on that person being forthcoming with me and telling me the truth. Do you know what I’m saying? Now, I can’t, I’m not going to tell you any promises, saying, ‘Look, man, I’m going to take you home from here in 5 minutes as long as you tell me what I want to hear.’ I don’t want you to tell me what I want to hear. I want you to tell me what was going through your head and what you perceived. Do you know what I mean when I say perceived? What you thought was going to happen to you at that point in time, OK? With all that being said, I want to let you talk, but I have to read you your juvenile rights first, OK? Is that OK? Do you want to talk to me and explain what happened with all this? OK.

Teen Suspect: [Nods.]

Amann: Before he does, real quick, just know, again, like I told you in the car, I really don’t know much about this case, OK? I’m here as what we call a juvenile officer, a juvenile advocate. So, if you need something, you need water, you go to the bathroom, you need something or you don’t understand something he’s talking about, just ask me, OK? I’m here on behalf of you, not him.

Teen Suspect: OK.

Aines: So if you’re not clear about anything, feel free to talk to him and, ‘Look, I don’t feel comfortable the way this detective is talking to me. Can I have a word with you? Can I ask you a question?’ I’m not going to be offended, so don’t worry about that, OK. I’m going to read this kind of slow for you. [REDACTED: teen suspect’s name], what’s your birthday, by the way?

Teen Suspect: [REDACTED: birth date].

Aines: And you’re still living at [REDACTED: address]?

Teen Suspect: Yep.

Aines: It’s [REDACTED: address]. What’s the date?

Amann: Today is the 16th. It’s 12:29. Do you agree?

Teen Suspect: Yeah.

Amann: 12:29, right?

Aines: Alright, [REDACTED: teen suspect’s name], I’m going to read this to you. And I’ll kind of explain a little bit as I go along, OK? You have the right to remain silent. That means to not say anything. Anything you do say can be used against you in court. You have the right to get help from a lawyer. If you cannot pay for a lawyer, the court will get you one for free. You can ask for a lawyer at any time. You have the right to stop the interview at any time. Now, you have the right to not talk to me. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to me, that’s cool but I need to know in advance. I only have a certain part of the story to go off, going forward. And then the decisions are going to be not only in my hands, they’re going to be in the hands of another, you know, my boss. And so just know that, going forward, I think your words are going to be extremely valuable in this situation. I don’t think, I don’t think you have anything to necessarily fear in terms of talking to us. But again, just know you can, ‘Look, I don’t feel comfortable talking about this.’ That’s cool. I’m not going to sit here, lie to you or be an asshole or yell at you or anything like that. That’s not what I’m going to do, OK? Now, with all that said, I do have to ask you, do you want to have a lawyer? Now, just keep in mind, I’m asking you, Do you want to have a lawyer right here in this room right now?

Teen Suspect: [Shakes his head.]

Aines: Realistically, a lawyer coming here within the next 5 to 10 minutes, that’s not going to happen. So, if you want to have a lawyer, that’s cool. But again, this conversation is going to end for right now, OK? Now, I have to ask you, do you want to have, do you want to have a lawyer?

Teen Suspect: Mm-mm [shaking his head].

Aines: No? OK. Do you want to talk to me?

Teen Suspect: [Nods.]

Aines: As a juvenile, you may consult your parents or legal guardian before the questioning begins and you can also have them present during questioning if you so desire. We already tried to contact your mom. We have another detective who’s going over to her house here in a few minutes and go get her, OK? But just know that you have the right to talk to your mom if you feel comfortable. Again, I know your mom. I think this detective also knows your mom. She seems like a decent person. I think it’s in her well-being. I think she has your well-being in her heart. I knew, I saw how concerned she was [REDACTED]. And I can respect that. She seems like a good person, OK? Now, do you understand what I’ve read, though?

Teen Suspect: Mm-hmm [nodding].

Aines: This last part is, ‘As a juvenile, you must also understand that anything you say can and may be used against you in a subsequent criminal proceeding if the case is transferred from the juvenile court to an adult criminal proceeding after an appropriate hearing in juvenile court.’ Now, you might not understand what that means. Basically, that means what you can, what you say here to me, can be used in a criminal trial in adult court. You’re 15. I can tell you juveniles don’t get charged with adult crimes, typically, unless it’s, like, a murder. That’s not what this is. If I had to take a guess, this is not something that’s going to be an adult charge or an adult criminal case, even. I don’t even know if you’re going to be charged with anything at this point in time. I’m just building a scenario, OK? Now, is there anything about that you don’t understand?

Teen Suspect: [Shakes his head.]

Aines: OK. So you do understand?

Teen Suspect: [Nods.]

Aines: OK, if you don’t mind, I’m just going to sign right here. And, then, all this is stating is that you understood what I read. Everything I read to you is right here. If you could just sign your name.

Teen Suspect: [Signs the paper.]

Aines: Now, [REDACTED: teen suspect’s name]. I didn’t mean to interrupt you when you wanted to talk, but go ahead and say what you wanted to say about the situation.

Teen Suspect: Can you tell me what it was I was involved in again?

Aines: It was at Dollar General.

Teen Suspect: Where?

Aines: Two Fridays ago on Grand Avenue.

Teen Suspect: And what was supposed to happen?

Aines: Did you understand what I was saying before?

Teen Suspect: Yeah, but I don’t go to Dollar General. I go to [unintelligible] Dollar by my house. To be honest, to tell you the honest truth to God, you could see it in my eyes. I’m scared. I wouldn’t lie to you, as you say you wouldn’t lie to me. So, I’m giving you the truth. I honestly don’t know what altercation you’re talking about, honestly.

Aines: OK. So there’s video, there’s video of you going into the store at Dollar General on February 4. There was some kind of altercation. It looks like the guy that worked there, that he told you to get out. You left. He came to the door, and it looks like there’s some kind of altercation, that he might have put hands on you. Does that sound like something that might have happened?

Teen Suspect: I don’t remember nobody touching me. But I did know I did get put out of the store. Yeah, he was, like, I came in and he was, like, ‘You got to go.’ And I was, like, ‘What did I do?’ I never been put out of the store, from that store, none of that. And he was telling me that [interrupted].

Aines: This is the one on Grand, though, you’re saying, right?

Teen Suspect: On Grand?

Aines: Yeah. Dollar General.

Teen Suspect: I haven’t been that way, sir, honestly. You can ask my mom. I haven’t been [interrupted].

Aines: Well, it’s not a matter of if you’ve been there. You’re pretty distinct looking, man. And I have [REDACTED]. OK? The people that work in that store have seen you there before. So, like I said, initially, I’m not here to debate whether you were there or not. It’s, like, I know you were there, OK? And I don’t want to get into an argument. Like I said, I’m not here to yell at you or anything like that. I understand you’re nervous. And I understand maybe you’ve been in a few dollar stores since then. So maybe your memory isn’t great. Cool. I’m trying to give you a little facts about the situation and maybe you can remember exactly what happened, OK? There’s a Hispanic dude. He’s like, maybe, 5’10”, 6 foot. He’s wearing a hoodie. He kind of put you, it looks to me like he put you out of the store, not physically but when you got to the door, he closed the doors and there was some kind of altercation at the doors. And it looks to me like he put hands on you at some point. And this was at a Dollar General on Grand Avenue, OK?

Teen Suspect: [Unintelligible while nodding].

Aines: OK, Do you know, do you know what I’m talking about? OK. Do you want to explain exactly what happened there?

Teen Suspect: Yeah, I walked in, like I said to you, I was walking in and he just closed the doors. And then I was actually [unintelligible]. I got a [unintelligible] temper, so I get mad real quick.

Aines: Yeah. And, look, if someone told me to get out of their store for no goddamn reason, I’d be upset too, you know what I’m saying?

Teen Suspect: Yeah.

Aines: Why are you picking on me when you got all these other people in the store that are still shopping? Do you know what I’m saying? I saw the video. I saw there was multiple people in there shopping. I saw you did not steal anything. You know what I’m saying? So that raised one question to me right away, like why is this guy targeting this little kid, you know what I mean? Is that what’s going through your head at the time? I mean, explain, like, what you were thinking when this guy told you to get out?

Teen Suspect: I was like, I was thinking, like, ‘What’d I do? Did I do something? Like, I don’t know. Like, am I being mistaken for another person or something like.’

Aines: OK. And you had an interaction with this guy before?

Teen Suspect: I’d never seen him before.

Aines: But this was on, like, a Friday, February, 4, right?

Teen Suspect: Mm-hmm [nodding].

Aines: OK, at the Dollar General on Grand.

Teen Suspect: Mm-hmm, it took me a minute to remember. I’ve been to so many stores.

Aines: Well, now, I know you used to live on [REDACTED: street name]. So, I know you know people up there. How do you typically get around? Do you walk or take the bus?

Teen Suspect: No, I ride with my mom, with my mom’s friends.

Aines: OK. So, explain to me what happened after all that.

Teen Suspect: He had pushed me or whatever. And then I just, I had ran. And then I had called my mom and then she picked me up and then I, like, I didn’t tell her what happened because I was nervous. So I didn’t tell her anything about it.

Aines: OK. Well, here’s the thing. This dude, I’m a little hesitant to believe his side of things. But, in order for me to believe everything that happened on your side of things, I need you to be straight with me, dude. So I appreciate you being honest about you being there. I appreciate you telling me, ‘Hey,’ he put hands on you first or you put hands on him?

Teen Suspect: He put hands on me.

Aines: OK, and what did you do exactly?

Teen Suspect: I did, I tripped a little bit, then I just ran.

Aines: Was this inside or outside of the store?

Teen Suspect: It was outside the store.

Aines: Like in front of the front doors?

Teen Suspect: [Unintelligible].

Aines: OK. Now, I know there was, take a deep breath. This moment is not going to define the rest of your life, OK? You’re going to bounce back from this, I promise you, OK? But I can tell there’s, like, a weight on your chest, right now, OK? So I promise you, if you’re just straight with me, that that weight’s going to go away, OK? There was a gunshot fired there. I’m not overly concerned with the fact that you had a gun. I know how Waukegan is. It’s nuts. You know people.

Teen Suspect: [Gestures denial.]

Aines: Hear me out, man. I know you probably have friends who’ve gotten shot. There are kids your age, we’ve had to go pick up their bodies off the ground. It’s insane out there, right now. So someone like you who lives in the projects, probably got a target on his back, the fact you got a gun, understandable. I can relate to that. If I was in your situation, I probably would have a gun too. I have to understand the gunshot portion, though. Was this an accident? Was this intentional? Did you think he was going to seriously hurt you and you felt you needed to defend yourself? When I was explaining context to you earlier, the context of that matters. If you were just upset, saying, ‘Fuck this city and I’m going to try and kill him right now,’ that’s a big deal. But if you, if this gun went off by accident or if you’re, like, seriously fearing for your life, you felt you had no choice, that’s a totally different scenario. That’s a different story, OK? But again, I just need to understand the context from your eyes, from your perspective, OK? How did that go down from your point of view?

Teen Suspect: I felt like I was going to get real hurt.

Aines: You felt like you’re going to get hurt?

Teen Suspect: Mm-hmm [nodding].

Aines: OK. So what did you do exactly?

Teen Suspect: I don’t have a, I don’t bring a gun with me. I don’t, no one loaned me a gun. The gunshot [unintelligible] told me [unintelligible] on my record. I’m trying not to cry because, usually when things that I don’t even know about come to me, I get mad and I start to cry. Honestly, I’m telling you the truth. [REDACTED], I wouldn’t have one, I can honestly say. You can ask my mom, you can ask anybody — my sister, my brother, anybody you want to bring in — ask them, do I own a gun, have a gun in the house?

Aines: Well, look, when I was your age, it would have been pretty easy for me to keep a gun from my mom. [Unintelligible.] It’s pretty easy these days for kids to keep guns from their parents and their siblings and stuff. So, I’m sure your mom’s going to vouch for you. I have no doubt my mom, I would do the same thing for my own children, OK? The hard part’s over with, man. You’ve already explained, ‘Look, man, this dude kicked me out. He put his hands on me for no reason. I felt like my life was in danger.’ I understand that maybe you don’t carry a gun with you all the time. Maybe you felt like you did that day because someone was after you. Maybe someone threatened you in school. Maybe someone threatened you on Facebook. I know how that shit is. There’s guns everywhere on Facebook. That’s part of my job to go to people’s Instagrams and Facebooks. And it’s insane how many guns are on the streets and how many people are pointing shit. It’s dangerous as fuck. So I wouldn’t blame you for having a gun at that point in time. And if this adult is putting hands on you, a 15-year-old kid, that’s not an even fight, you know what I’m saying? He has no right to put hands on a kid. That’s juvenile abuse. You know what I’m saying? So, if you felt like your life was in danger, which is what you told me, right?

Teen Suspect: [Nods.]

Aines: What I need to understand, did this gun go off by accident? Did you do it because, that, you felt you had no other choice and your life was in danger? Or did you just get upset and, ‘I want to kill this motherfucker?’

Teen Suspect: I was scared.

Aines: You were scared?

Teen Suspect: Scared for my life.

Aines: You were scared for your life.

Teen Suspect: [Nods slightly.]

Aines: OK. Do you remember how many gunshots you fired?

Teen Suspect: One.

Aines: One? Did you see where it went?

Teen Suspect: No, but it didn’t hit him.

Aines: Do you remember where you were aiming?

Teen Suspect: No, I was just shaking it. I just shot like that [gestures as if not aiming].

Aines: OK. What did you do after that?

Teen Suspect: I ran.

Aines: Where did you run to?

Teen Suspect: I ran to a friend’s house of mine.

Aines: Do you want to tell me which friend that is?

Teen Suspect: [Shakes his head.]

Aines: No? OK. Well, I saw which direction you ran. I mean, do you want to tell me at least where, where you might, did you go to an apartment complex or did you go to someone’s house?

Teen Suspect: Someone’s house.

Aines: What area does that person live in, live at?

Teen Suspect: He lived by my, in our area — well, in the area where I lived in.

Aines: Like, over on [REDACTED: street name], where you used to live?

Teen Suspect: No, I live on [unintelligible].

Aines: But you ran across the street, like, towards the Field House.

Teen Suspect: The Field House?

Aines: Well, that’s the direction you ran, is what I’m saying. So does he live, does this kid live over there?

Teen Suspect: So-so. [REDACTED: friend’s name.]

Aines: [Friend’s name] or [friend’s name mispronounced]?

Teen Suspect: [Friend’s name].

Aines: [Friend’s name]?

Teen Suspect: Yeah.

Aines: Is [friend’s name] your age?

Teen Suspect: Mm-hmm [nodding].

Aines: Does he go to school with you?

Teen Suspect: Mm-hmm [nodding].

Aines: Look, that wasn’t that difficult was it, being straight with me? I would be scared too and I’m trying to, and I’m trying to be as gentle and I’m not trying to be an asshole and nail you. There are certain officers who come in here and they think every kid that comes up off the street is a piece of shit. And they think that that’s the way to deal with people. You got to deal with people on a human level. I understand you’re looking back on this, saying, ‘Shit, maybe I should have handled that situation differently.’ I mean, is that what you’re thinking right now? Or do you, I don’t want to put words in your mouth. Do you feel comfortable with how that situation unfolded? Or do you think it could have been handled differently?

Teen Suspect: Mm-hmm [nodding]. It could have been handled differently.

Aines: OK. If you, looking back on it now, how, what do you think you would do differently?

Teen Suspect: I wouldn’t let him get to me.

Aines: Just maybe walk off?

Teen Suspect: Yeah, I wouldn’t have let him blow my cool.

Aines: That’s smart. I can already tell you’re learning from the situation. I can already tell that, if this situation, something like this, happened in the future, you probably damn well are not going to do the same thing, right?

Teen Suspect: Mm-mm [shaking his head].

Aines: OK. Now, one more important thing I have to ask. What happened to the gun? Is it in your bedroom? Because there’s going to be an officer going over to your house in a few minutes to talk to your mom. If it’s there, we need to know, OK?

Teen Suspect: It’s not [unintelligible].

Aines: Well, where’s it at?

Teen Suspect: I threw it.

Aines: Threw it? Where’d you throw it at?

Teen Suspect: In the trash can.

Aines: Do you know which one?

Teen Suspect: By the Field House because I [unintelligible] in the back.

Aines: So, where was the trash can thing?

Teen Suspect: So, I don’t even know the building [unintelligible]. It’s like, as soon as you get there, I just went to the nearest, the first trash can when I entered. I went to the first trash can and threw it.

Aines: Is it in the Field House, the parking lot?

Teen Suspect: No, it’s diagonally right from the Field House parking lot.

Aines: In Kings Court Apartments that are over there? Those ones?

Teen Suspect: I think so.

Aines: Did you go to the Field House at all that night?

Teen Suspect: Mm-mm [shaking his head].

Aines: Were you at the Field House at all?

Teen Suspect: Mm-mm [shaking his head].

Aines: When did you go home that night?

Teen Suspect: Probably, like, 7:30.

Aines: Because this just happened, like, about 7:15. So, did you stay out a little bit longer before you went home?

Teen Suspect: Mm-mm [shaking his head].

Aines: No?

Teen Suspect: Mm-mm [shaking his head].

Aines: How did you get home then?

Teen Suspect: I got a friend [REDACTED: friend’s name], sister of [friend’s name].

Aines: OK, when did she pick you up?

Teen Suspect: It was around, like…

Aines: Like, how long after this incident?

Teen Suspect: 20 or 30 minutes.

Aines: 20 or 30 minutes. And then where’d you go after that.

Teen Suspect: Straight home.

Aines: Did you make any stops in between?

Teen Suspect: No, sir [shaking his head].

Aines: OK, so you were home fairly early then, you’re saying.

Teen Suspect: Yeah.

Aines: Where were you before [interrupted].

Amann: [Speaks unintelligibly to Aines and hands him a smartphone, displaying a map.]

Aines: So, question, here’s the Field House. [Shows the phone to the teen suspect.] This is Grand Avenue. Where is this garbage can thing?

Teen Suspect: It’s around this area [pointing to an area of the map].

Aines: Over here?

Teen Suspect: Yeah.

Aines: So you’re not sure exactly where it was located. Like, was it an alley? Was it, like a dumpster?

Teen Suspect: Yeah.

Aines: It was a dumpster.

Teen Suspect: Mm-hmm [nodding].

Aines: OK. And then where, about, was your friend [unintelligible].

Aines: Remember, this is the Field House here.

Teen Suspect: Yeah, that’s it. Diagonally right there.

Amann: If you click on it, Sean, it’ll pull a picture up. Just press and hold. [Amann stands to help with the phone.]

Aines: There’s a [unintelligible] behind this building. Do you know what I’m saying? If you go up Pioneer right here?

Teen Suspect: Yeah [unintelligible].

Aines: Behind those buildings?

Teen Suspect: Yeah, behind those buildings [unintelligible]. The one on Pioneer [unintelligible]. If you press it [unintelligible].

[Speaker unclear]: Across the street there.

Aines: You were behind here, you’re saying?

Teen Suspect: Mm-hmm [nodding].

Aines: So what, that’s where you got rid of the gun?

Teen Suspect: Mm-hmm [nodding].

Aines: Do you know if it was this building or the next building?

Teen Suspect: What? Where I got rid of the gun?

Aines: Mm-hmm [nodding].

Teen Suspect: [Unintelligible, pointing at the phone.]

[Speaker not clear]: Brought his buddy [unintelligible].

Aines: Before you went to the store, though, where were you at?

Teen Suspect: Basketball practice.

Aines: Where’s that?

Teen Suspect: Brookside.

Aines: Brookside?

Teen Suspect: Yeah.

Aines: You brought that fucking gun to high school?

Teen Suspect: Oh no, it wasn’t in the school. It wasn’t in the school.

Aines: Look, you’re not getting into trouble for doing that. I’m not going to tell the school or anything like that. You don’t have to worry but did you have that in your waistband or in a bag with you when you were at school?

Teen Suspect: No, sir. I wouldn’t do nothing like that.

Aines: You had hid it?

Teen Suspect: Yeah.

Aines: But outside the school?

Teen Suspect: Yeah. Not by the school. It was a little bit from the school.

Aines: Did you have issues with people? Is that why you had it? I mean, is people out to fuck with you and stuff?

Teen Suspect: Yeah, people just think that, people just think that, I just get tired of people. [unintelligible].

Aines: Where’s your family from, originally?

Teen Suspect: Chicago.

Aines: Chicago?

Teen Suspect: Yeah.

Aines: What part?

Teen Suspect: West Side.

Aines: When did you guys move up here to Waukegan?

Teen Suspect: I don’t know. I’ve lived with my mom all my life [unintelligible].

Aines: Have you lived in Waukegan all your life?

Teen Suspect: No, I came to Waukegan in 4th Grade.

Aines: In 4th Grade? Did you go back to get the gun at any point?

Teen Suspect: No, sir.

Aines: What did you do with the clothes you were wearing that night? That hoodie?

Teen Suspect: Which hoodie?

Aines: The one with the smiley face.

Teen Suspect: Smiley face?

Aines: Uh-huh [nodding].

Teen Suspect: I don’t have a hoodie with a smiley face on it. You’re probably talking about my cousin [unintelligible] but I don’t have a hoodie with a smiley face [unintelligible]. You can send the detectives. You can check all the hoodies in my closet for a smiley face. I’m being straight-forward with you. I wouldn’t lie to you. I’m scared. I don’t want to [unintelligible] but I’m scared.

Amann: Is that the same hoodie he was wearing the day when he did this other stupid shit?

Teen Suspect: Who? [Unintelligible.]

Amann: Yeah.

Teen Suspect: Yes.

Amann: With all the little smiley faces? That’s what you’re talking about?

Aines: No, this one just, it doesn’t even look like a smiley, the hoodie that you wearing that night is what I’m asking. What did you do with that one?

Teen Suspect: It’s at my house.

Aines: It’s at your house?

Teen Suspect: Yeah, but it don’t have a smiley face.

Aines: It’s not a smiley face, really. It’s like [unintelligible]. It said ‘trippy’ on it.

Teen Suspect: Trippy?

Aines: Look, if you borrowed it from a friend or whatever, then I don’t care. It’s not of any significance to me. I’m just curious, do you know what I’m saying? So, not being forthcoming about that part, it’s going to look weird. So, do you remember what happened to the clothes you were wearing that night? Are they just at home?

Teen Suspect: Mm-hmm [nodding].

Aines: OK. You were wearing a hoodie? OK? I know that. Remember, this all on [unintelligible]. I have to check with my boss. This is kind of an ongoing thing. I have to talk to everybody involved, get all sides of the story, OK?

Amann: Do you know what shoes you would have been wearing that night?

Teen Suspect: Mm-mm [shaking his head].

Amann: No?

Teen Suspect: I got a lot of shoes.

Aines: OK, let me kind of play this out, from what I understand. This February 4, that evening, you had been at practice at Brookside?

Teen Suspect: Mm-hmm [nodding].

Aines: You decide to walk to where at that point?

Teen Suspect: Dollar store.

Aines: Dollar store? OK. Here’s the thing. You came from that same area, though. You walked from the north part of Grand, like, where the Field House was, where you walked from. So where were you coming from?

Teen Suspect: [Unintelligible]. I don’t know what you’re talking about. [Unintelligible.] I don’t know exactly, I’m being honest, I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Aines: OK, skip that part. You go over to Dollar General. You get to Dollar General. You walk inside, right?

Teen Suspect: Mm-hmm [nodding].

Aines: Correct? OK. You didn’t take anything or steal anything from what I saw. Is that accurate? Is that right?

Teen Suspect: [Nods.]

Aines: OK. You walked up and down maybe a couple aisles. Does that sound like what you did?

Teen Suspect: [Nods.]

Aines: And then you came back to the front of the store and what’d this guy say to you?

Teen Suspect: He was like, ‘Get out of the store.’

Aines: He said, ‘Get out of the store?’

Teen Suspect: Yeah, he was like, ‘Get out.’ Then I’m like, ‘What’d I do?’ He was like, ‘Man, just get out.’ He was being aggressive [unintelligible].

Aines: OK. So it looks like you left, initially, or you didn’t leave, you just went on the other side of the doors and he’s still kind of standing on the inside of the doors. What was said at that point in time? Is he still talking to you or what?

Teen Suspect: Yeah.

Aines: Yeah?

Teen Suspect: Yeah, he did keep telling me to get out of the store. Then I’m still asking, like, ‘What’d I do? What I’d do?’

Aines: Because there’s other customers in the store, of course. So you’re wondering why.

Teen Suspect: Yeah, like, why am I the only one being put out of the store?

Aines: And, at that point, explain to me a little bit more what happened. Because I know you said he put hands on you out in front of the store. How did, how did that happen? How did he end up going outside?

Teen Suspect: He was walking toward me and I was backing up.

Aines: OK. It looks like you guys were playing with the doors for one second, for a second. Like, maybe you were trying to open it, he was trying to close it and then, is that what happened? What happened? This was something that kind of played out probably crazy. You OK?

Amann: Want to catch your breath? Stand up?

Teen Suspect: [Stands up and begins stretching.]

Aines: So when he, from what I saw, your hands were on the doors, his hands were on the doors. So I don’t know if you guys were doing, like, a back-and-forth-type thing with the doors. I don’t know if you’re saying, ‘Hey man, why are you kicking me out?’ Do you remember what was said, what were you guys were saying to each other at the time? I saw your hands around the doors. You’re not, you’re not, there’s nothing wrong with what you did right there at that point in time. That’s what I’m saying. I’m just trying to understand the situation — like, how it escalated, do you know what I mean? Do you remember what you guys were saying or what you were doing at that point?

Teen Suspect: Yeah, I would just, I was just like, ‘What did I do? Why are you putting me out? Why am I the only one out of the store?’ He was just cursing at me. ‘Get the F out of the store. Get the F out of the store.’

Aines: OK, and then it looks like he, what, he exits to try to what? What does he do at that point?

Teen Suspect: He pushed me.

Aines: He pushes you?

Teen Suspect: Yeah.

Aines: OK. And then what?

Teen Suspect: And then I tripped a little bit and then, like, while [interrupted].

Aines: What were you thinking then, right at that split moment when he’s beginning to close the doors?

Teen Suspect: Just get out of the area.

Aines: OK. But, at that point, were you already kind of, I don’t want to put words in your mouth, I’m just trying to understand what [unintelligible] thinking. At that point in time, are you already thinking, ‘Maybe this guy is still a threat to me?’ That’s why you fired the gun off at that point in time? How did the gun go off, specifically, right at that moment?

Teen Suspect: I thought he was trying to hurt me.

Aines: OK. But is it fair to say that he’s on the other side of the glass, or he’s beginning to be on the other side of glass, he’s closing the doors. Is he a threat to you at that point?

Teen Suspect: Yeah, he threatened, yeah, probably because he swung [unintelligible], well, he put his hands on me [unintelligible].

Aines: I understand he was a threat to you at one point in time. I get that. And he’s bigger than you. I have no issue with you defending yourself initially. But, when he starts to go back into the store and he begins to close the doors, it’s quite clear a gunshot goes right through the window, you know what I’m saying? So, are you thinking he’s going to come back out after you?

Teen Suspect: I need my mom.

Aines: Is he still saying shit to you at that point in time? There’s no, there’s no.

Amann: Sean, he said he needs his mom.

Aines: You need your mom?

Teen Suspect: Yeah. What you’re telling me is like, I don’t even know. What you’re telling me, you said the smiley hood sweater, it could have been [unintelligible]. I don’t have a smiley face sweater. And like, [unintelligible] I’m getting kinda.

Aines: OK, that’s totally cool, man. We’re going to get in contact with your mom. If you need anything — we’re going to get lunch for you too. Is McDonald’s cool?

Teen Suspect: Yeah.

Aines: Alright.

Amann: Alright, we’ll be back, bud, OK?

Aines and Amann leave the teen suspect in the interrogation room.