Man charged with shooting and killing his 16-year-old son during fight in Austin apartment

Chicago Tribune/TNS

An Austin man has been charged with fatally shooting his teenage son inside his home on the West Side last weekend.

Leon Taylor, 33, was charged late Monday with one count of first-degree murder in connection with the death of his son, 16-year-old Leontaye Taylor, officials said. Leon Taylor was ordered held without bond during his first court appearance Tuesday.

Police and prosecutors allege the father and son were in a “physical altercation” in Leon Taylor’s apartment in the 100 block of North Parkside Avenue shortly after 8:30 p.m. Saturday, authorities said. Taylor’s CPD arrest photo appears to show several locks of his hair were ripped out.

During Taylor’s initial court appearance, Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Sarah Dale-Schmidt said Taylor and his son’s mother got into a heated argument on the phone. Soon after, Taylor and his son also started yelling at each other, and things got physical.

Other family members in the apartment were able to separate the father and son, but Taylor barged into his son’s bedroom and shot him eight times, Dale-Schmidt said. Taylor then left the apartment before one of the other family members called 911. CPD officers were able to contact Taylor via phone and arranged for him to turn himself in at the department’s Austin District station, according to his arrest report.

Leon Taylor was one of three teen boys shot and killed in Chicago last weekend. Earlier this month, the Tribune reported that while killings have decreased citywide this year, the number of youth homicide victims has risen each year since 2019.

The CPD reported 562 killings between Jan. 1 - Nov. 19, according to department records. Of those, less than 10% were deemed “domestic-related.”

Through mid-November, gun violence in the Austin District — bounded by Division Street, Roosevelt Road, Cicero Avenue and Austin Boulevard — has remained flat. As of Nov. 19, the district had recorded 32 killings, two more than in 2022, and 116 total shootings.