An 18-year-old Chicago man has been charged in connection with the shooting of two girls earlier this week, one day after he surrendered with the help of anti-violence group CeaseFire.
Jermaine Louis was charged with two counts of aggravated battery with a firearm, the Chicago Tribune reports.
In a Thursday press conference, a CeaseFire spokesman said that Louis had been "marked for death" in his community following the shooting of Tishona Turner, 13, and Nakia Polk, 12, NBC Chicago reported.
The man's family had contacted CeaseFire because they feared that gangs would seek revenge after witnesses identified him as the gunman, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. They hoped to see his name cleared as the family insisted that Lewis is neither a gang member nor the shooter.
Carl Boyd, the man's attorney, told ABC Chicago that the situation is "an unfortunate case of mistaken identity."
The two girls were wounded in a drive-by shooting while walking in the 1300 block of West 117th Street around 7:45 p.m. Tuesday on the city's Far South Side. Police attributed the shooting to feuding rival gangs in the area and said that the girls were not the intended targets of the shootings.
"My son is a church-going young man," a woman who identified herself as the teen's mother told the Chicago Tribune. "[M]y son did not do this. I know my son did not do this. My son is a caring individual."
A CeaseFire spokesman previously noted that whether or not Lewis was charged in the shooting, the group's priority was keeping him safe in the meantime, according to NBC.
Last month, CeaseFire and the Chicago Police Department announced the formation of a new pilot partnership aimed at combating gang violence in the city.
The partnership between the violence "interrupters" and police began Friday.
Both girls wounded in the Tuesday shooting are recovering.