A Chicago man, who is accused of fatally shooting two teenage boys earlier month after they asked about his height, has been charged with murder, authorities said Thursday (June 25).

Laroy Battle, 19, was at a convenience store in the 7900 block of South Luella Avenue around 5:00 p.m., June 20, when he was approached by Jasean Francis, 17, and Charles Riley, 16. The teenagers were walking home after buying candy at the store when a brief encounter took place, and Battle opened fire at them.

To the victims, Battle appeared quite tall, and they told him they hoped to be as tall someday. "The victims commented, because, since Battle is quite tall, and they asked him how tall he was and you know, hoped to be that tall someday," Deputy Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan told WLS-TV. "And unfortunately, obviously we'll never see the full growth of these poor children."

Battle, who wasn’t previously known to the boys, reportedly chased them after having been asked the innocent question before firing at least nine rounds. Francis was shot in the back, chest, and left hand, while Riley suffered gunshot wounds to the back and left leg. Both were rushed to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where they were pronounced dead. A third teenager, who was accompanying Francis and Riley, escaped bullets.

Police released surveillance video of the suspect and community members helped them identify Battle, Deenihan told the station.

The teenagers went down the block and bought candy after seeking permission from their mothers. "He was a kid," Francis' aunt Latonya Pettit told WLS-TV. "Liked video games, snacks. That was his thing. He would walk into this hospital gift shop daily and purchase snacks."

Battle was charged with two counts of first-degree murder. CBS2 has learned that he was handed 18 months’ probation in December 2019 for unlawful use of a weapon in the previous year, which means he violated it at the time of the murders.

Deenihan told the publication there had been no altercation between the victims and the suspect before the shooting. He noted that the boys were killed “for no reason.” Battle was denied bond Friday.

Battle is facing some additional charges on top of murder because he was found with some controlled substance at the time of his arrest, the CBS2 report stated.

Several bullets are pictured on a table. Pixabay