A 24-year-old Riverside man on parole after serving part of a five-year sentence for a 2017 attempted armed robbery conviction in North Riverside has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder for allegedly being one of two gunmen involved in the fatal shooting of a 7-year-old girl on Aug. 15 on Chicago’s Northwest Side. The girl’s 6-year-old sister was wounded.
Chicago police along with personnel from the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force arrested Aireon D. Luster in the basement of his grandmother’s home in the 200 block of E. Burlington Street in Riverside on Oct. 13, and Chicago Police Supt. David Brown announced the charges against him at a press conference that evening.
Riverside Director of Public Safety Matthew Buckley said his officers were not present for the arrest but added his department had been working with Chicago police, who arrested Luster initially for the shooting in September. However, the Cook County State’s Attorney determined at that time there wasn’t enough evidence to charge Luster.
Luster had been living in Riverside since mid-March 2020 when he was paroled from the Lawrence Correctional Center, where he was serving time for the North Riverside conviction. He previously also served time in prison after a 2013 armed robbery conviction that resulted in a 10-year sentence.
“These charges are the beginning, we hope, of bringing some measure of closure to the grieving family of these two innocent little girls who were sitting in a parked car when they were struck by gunfire,” Brown said at the press conference.
Brown said the investigation of the shooting continues and that detectives hope to identify and apprehend the two other people allegedly involved in the shooting, another gunman and the person who served as the getaway driver.
“The hard work will continue until all of the offenders involved in this incident are arrested and held accountable for this terrible crime,” Brown said.
The Chicago Police Department’s chief of detectives, Brendan Deenihan, said at the press conference that on Aug. 15 at about 3:30 p.m., 7-year-old Serenity Broughton and 6-year-old Aubrey Broughton were being put into a car by their mother outside of a relative’s house in the 6200 block of West Grand Avenue in Chicago.
At that time, a vehicle with three people inside pulled into an alley. Two people, one of whom was Luster, according to Chicago police, exited the vehicle and began shooting in the direction of the two girls. The two then ran back to their vehicle, which drove from the scene.
Serenity was shot in the chest and was later pronounced dead at Loyola University Medical Center. Aubrey also was shot in the chest, but survived.
Deenihan said the two girls were not the intended targets and that police have determined the gunmen were targeting “a relative who is part of that house.” Deenihan also confirmed that Luster was the same person arrested in September for the same incident.
Asked why police now felt they had enough to charge Luster, Deenihan said, “What’s changed is we worked with the state’s attorney’s office to ensure we did a complete and thorough investigation, and we worked together to get the defendant charged.”
Luster was on parole for the 2013 armed robbery conviction and living at the East Burlington Street address when he attempted to rob a 24-year-old North Riverside man at the intersection of 23rd Street and Northgate Avenue on Dec. 21, 2018 at about 11 p.m.
When the victim refused to hand over his wallet, a second offender pistol whipped the victim, who was able to grab hold of the gun and release the ammunition magazine. The two ran off when a witness yelled out.
Police arrested Luster after a pursuit that ended when the offenders’ vehicle crashed at Roosevelt Road and Harvey Avenue in Oak Park. Luster was arrested nearby, while his accomplice eluded capture.