The bullets found Nazia "Peanut" Banks while he was running, just as he was about to climb the steps of his home on an unseasonably hot spring night.
Peanut was 12, but he wasn't some big 12-year-old with chin fuzz and the beginnings of muscles. He had the thin bones of a bird, a skinny neck and big black-rimmed glasses that definitely weren't hip. On his T-shirt was an image of squirrel. He was just a little kid.
But his death on May 19, 2012, didn't make big news in Chicago. It was crowded out by the ceremony and spectacle of the NATO Summit, and what the mayor and the police chief were doing, and what the Occupy protesters and the anarchists were planning.
Politicians didn't read his eulogy. No White House Cabinet official declared that Peanut's death would be a "line in the sand." There were no grand speeches, no horde of national news reporters. That little boy with a squirrel on his shirt wasn't a national symbol of anything.
Peanut fell below Chicago's notice like a stone.
But on Thursday in the Cook County Criminal Courts building, there was something, after more than a year of Chicago police digging relentlessly for justice.
There was a charge. Not the shooter, but a lookout who allegedly put himself at the scene. Being a lookout in a murder is enough to be charged with the crime.
The Criminal Courts building is known as "26th and Cal" by those who work there and are judged there. It's an ugly structure, a limbo for lost souls learning their fate.
On Thursday there was dirty snow on the ground outside and a card table set up near the sidewalk. The man with the table told me his name was Marlon Ramirez and he was praying for anyone who wanted it.
"Everyone who comes to this place has desperation," he said. "They need God. The people, the police. The lawyers too."
Inside, in Room 101, the sex and homicide court, things started to break, formally, for Peanut.
The first person charged in Peanut's death was brought in, Denzel Garbutt, 21, a skinny young man in a parka, the kind with that cheap fur trim along the hood.
There was nothing in his face that looked worried. He looked more like a guy who was just realizing what was happening to him.
Assistant State's Attorney Elizabeth Dibler, who has 10 years on the job, read off the details of the allegations: that Garbutt had been arrested Tuesday night and found in possession of a gun and pot and cough syrup with codeine.
After police grabbed Garbutt, Dibler said, he confessed that he'd been the lookout in South Chicago, on the 8000 block of South Brandon Avenue, on the night that Peanut was killed.
Garbutt was with others, and one of them had a gun. They were going to shoot someone known as "Lil Chris."
The prosecutor said Garbutt agreed to "be their security and look out for police while they take care of Lil Chris." A couple of minutes later, the prosecutor said, the shooter called Garbutt on a cellphone "and asked him if the coast was clear. Defendant stated 'yes.'"
A few minutes later, prosecutors said, Garbutt heard gunshots in front of Peanut's home.
The shooter allegedly told Garbutt that "he felt bad a boy got shot but was not turning himself in."
If you want to numb yourself up enough to see how this works, consider it from his point of view. He felt bad, but not bad enough.