Cook County prosecutors secure conviction for murder of 13 year-old boy in 2008 shooting

A South Side man was convicted by a Cook County jury late Friday evening of the murder of a 13-year-old boy who was shot and killed as he was buying snacks with friends after football practice at a South Side convenience store in 2008, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Sebastian Rodriguez, 20, of Chicago, was found guilty of First Degree Murder for the murder of 13-year-old Sameere Conn after Rodriguez fired a gun into the door of a convenience store near the 2500 block of south 106th Street.

According to prosecutors, on Oct. 1, 2008, Conn and his friends stopped at the store to buy snacks after football practice. While the victim and others stood at the counter to pay for their purchases, Rodriguez approached the glass door of the store armed with a loaded .357 revolver. The defendant then fired the gun numerous times into the door in the direction of the Conn and his friends.

Conn was shot in the abdomen, as well as in both hands and died the next day at the hospital as a result of his injuries. A 27-year-old man also suffered a gunshot wound during the shooting but recovered from his injuries.

According to prosecutors, prior to the shooting Rodriguez told a witness that he wanted to kill Conn and others. Three days before the shooting at the store, Rodriguez told another witness that he had made a “death list” that included Conn’s name and at least four other individuals.

The day after the shooting police recovered a .357 blue steel revolver from the defendant’s home, which was later identified as the murder weapon. Several eyewitnesses also identified Rodriguez as the person who walked up to the door of the store with the gun shot multiple times into the store.

Rodriguez was convicted by a Cook County jury late Friday night after a week-long trial at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building in Chicago. The defendant faces natural life in prison when he is sentenced on March 11, 2014.

State’s Attorney Alvarez thanked Assistant State’s Attorneys John Maher and Brian Boersma of the Gang Crimes Unit and the Chicago Police Department for their work on this case.